Review: Logan is the best X-Men film ever made

I can't believe I'm about to give an X-Men film five stars, but I most certainly am.

Logan might as well not even be an X-Men film, or even a superhero film. It can stand alone as a cinematic experience worthy of many repeat viewings, and packing the kind of emotional sucker punch normally reserved for far less blockbuster outings.

The emotional stakes are immediately higher with the knowledge going in that this is Hugh Jackman's last Wolverine outing.

The Oscar-nominated Aussie credits this role as the making of his impressive Hollywood career, and here he pays tribute to that the best way he knows how - with a bolter of a performance delivering on a great script.

Co-writer and director James Mangold has a history with Jackman that dates as far back as Kate & Leopold and as recently as The Wolverine, but this is by far and away the best they've been together.

Logan is the best X-Men film ever made
Logan (20th Century Fox)

With Logan, they tie up the Wolverine trilogy - a trilogy interspersed with and preceded by a raft of X-Men films - some good , some bad. And I'm just going to say this out loud, Logan is the best X-Men movie made to date.

It's 2029. Mutants are all but gone from the planet, and Logan is no longer the immortal Wolverine we've come to know and love. He's an alcoholic driver-for-hire, his legendary ability to heal his bodily wounds is clearly fading.

Slowly being poisoned from the inside, his enduring emotional scars are helping to suck the life from him, and he's not the only one; Logan is hiding another mutant from the outside world, and it's their father/son relationship which brings the beating heart of this film.

Charles Xavier is the closest Logan has ever had to a father, and he has him locked away in an abandoned refinery in the Mexican borderlands, heavily medicated to control his mind-bending seizures, his only other companion the albino tracker Caliban (Stephan Merchant).

But Logan will soon be called upon for help from a very unexpected quarter, and our warrior Wolverine will find himself at a critical crossroads, the life of a little girl at stake, and with it, the future of the X-Men.

Wolverine: Logan review
Logan (20th Century Fox)

Mangold directed a remake of the western 3:10 to Yuma a few years back and I loved it. He brings his love of that genre to Logan, both in narrative and in aesthetic, and throws a little George Miller in there for good luck.

Logan borrows some of Mad Max: Fury Road's manic dystopian futuristic energy, blistering action scenes which pin you back against your seat and make you laugh out loud with breathless delight.

And yes, all you bloodthirsty wolverines so disappointed at his family-friendly outings thus far, Logan is a well-deserved R16 - his claws are out, and they are covered in blood.

Five stars.

   Logan

:: Director: James Mangold

:: Starring: Hugh Jackman, Boyd Holbrook, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Doris Morgado, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E. Grant, Eriq La Salle

:: Running Time: 137 minutes

:: Rating: R16 Graphic violence, offensive language & cruelty

:: Release Date: March 2, 2017

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