Logan (2017) ***

The Wolverine is back, and supposedly, for his last big screen appearance. This Marvel Comics superhero character, makes its tenth appearance in the X-Men film series. It is also the third installment focused on Logan.
Directed by James Mangold, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Frank and Michael Green, Logan is based on a story by Mangold. It stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant and Dafne Keen.
Logan introduces us to an aging Wolverine. The year is 2029 and Logan is not feeling all that great, as the Adamantium in his body is slowly poisoning him; his superpower weakened as his ability to self-heal. In other words, Logan is the more human, and the most vulnerable that he ever was.
What works great about this story is the perspective of relationships. We witness Logan taking care of Professor Charles Xavier, his mentor and father-figure, in a way that is both firm and tender. With Xavier suffering from a neurodegenerative disease, the two reverse roles, as Logan now tends to the ailing Xavier as is often the case with an aging parent. All this is beautifully portrayed in the film, which makes it stand out among the previous installments. Mangold then introduces an 11-year-old girl named Laura, a next-generation mutant, to slowly connect with Logan in the role of his daughter-like continuance. The generational juxtaposition plays well as the trio embarks on a road trip, while being chased by, no surprise, the bad guys…
Logan, the film, enjoys excellent acting, good camera work, and fluent choreography, yet it is uneven. I really wanted to give this flick at least 4 stars, but the latter part of the movie is just not as as good as the earlier part. With Xavier’s passing, the filmmakers resort to the shallow materials that make up so many of the action blockbusters. By that I mean to say that the film loses its soul in favor of flowing blood and body parts.
Whether Jackman will indeed stick by his word and retire the Wolverine character, making this his final appearance, is yet to be seen. We know it’s not over until it’s truly over, and even then, there are no assurances… Hollywood has no hesitation when it comes to evoking the Creator’s powers to bring dead heroes back to life. Regardless, Logan had a good run for 17 years, and that is no small fit, even for a superhero. May you RIP Wolverine.