Mr. James Mangold did such a good job on The Wolverine, why wouldn’t 20th Century Fox give him another shot? And what a shot this is! The second R-rated X-Men movie after Deadpool, Logan goes in a slightly different direction to justify the rating: instead of cartoonish violence, Logan shows how ugly fighting to the death can be. And a bunch of “fucks,” but that’s a side benefit.
Taking elements from the Old Man Logan story, this is the end of Wolverine, both in a narrative sense and because Hugh Jackman retired from the character after this film. In the year 2029, the X-Men are dead and mutants aren’t being born. An aged and unwell Wolverine now is a chauffeur, trying to save up enough money to take an also aged and unwell Professor X out on a boat so that his out of control psychic blasts won’t hurt anyone else. A woman approaches Logan with a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen), begging him to take them to a supposed safe haven named Eden in North Dakota. After she’s murdered, Laura sneaks a ride with Logan and displays adamantium claws when fighting off Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his Reavers. Turns out Laura is X-23, part of a government program to breed mutant soldiers. Xavier convinces Logan to help, and the trio head off. An incident in Oklahoma City shows how dangerous Xavier’s uncontrolled powers can be, and he remembers that it was such a blast that killed the rest of the X-Men. When Pierce fucks up just about every task given to him, Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) sends X-24 (Hugh Jackman), an obedient clone of Wolverine, after them. X-24 kills Xavier, but Laura and Logan escape. Despite Logan not believing Eden is real, the duo find it along with several more escaped mutant children. Rice, Pierce, and X-24 corner them, and the final battle happens. Logan dies taking out Rice and X-24, while the kids get their fatal revenge on Pierce. Laura and the other children bury Wolverine in the woods under an X, and head to the Canadian border and to safety.
Oh, and there was also Caliban (Stephen Merchant). He did some stuff!
I live in a house divided, as I love this movie and my husband… “hate” is a strong word, but he doesn’t like it. His argument is that the cinematic universe started in X-Men hasn’t explained the concept of what is effectively a What If…? story to the mainstream audience, so for all intents and purposes this is the conclusion to the X-Men. Professor X kills them (by accident), chemicals in genetically modified corn syrup prevent any new mutant births, and a persecuted minority is down to a handful of individuals. I say that setting it in the future implies that it’s just a possible future. He also doesn’t like at the end where the kids are circling and snarling Pierce, but not every child actor can be like the amazing Dafne Keen.
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