Susan Granger’s review of “Logan” (20th Century Fox)
As the “X-Men” saga continues, Logan (Hugh Jackman) – a.k.a. Wolverine – is caring for cranky, critically ill Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), along with the albino Caliban (Stephen Merchant), in a hideout along the Mexican border.
It’s 2029, when mutants are almost extinct. Weary Logan earns his living as a chauffeur, driving his own limousine, and drinking far too much. But he’s still the feral mutant with massive claws and a trigger-sharp temper.
Answering a call from the Liberty Motel, a desperate Mexican nurse (Elizabeth Rodriguez) offers Logan a wad of money to take her 11 year-old, Spanish-speaking daughter Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota, near the Canadian border. He’s initially reluctant until he realizes the rebellious, claw-wielding child, who will become X-23, has psychic powers similar to his own.
That catapults Logan into parental protective mode. From an “X-Men” comic book, Laura learned about a place called Eden, where mutants, like her, are nurtured, not hunted, and she’s determined to get there.
But villains are hot on her trail, like the cyborg Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant).
Supposedly, this is the final installment in Wolverine’s solo trilogy, preceded by “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009) and “The Wolverine” (2013). By now, Jackman’s Wolverine has entered the classic pantheon, joining Christopher Reeve’s Superman and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man.
Directed by James Mangold (“3:10 to Yuma,” “Walk the Line”), who co-wrote the script with Scott Frank and Michael Green, it’s delves into aging Xavier/Logan’s patriarchal rapport and Logan/Laura’s father/daughter relationship.
It’s also the 10th film in the “X-Men” franchise. Cathartic, it fits into the Western genre – with cinematic references to George Stevens’ archetypal “Shane.”
It’s also R-rated for graphic, gruesome violence and profanity, so parents are advised NOT to bring young children.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Logan” is an elegiac 8. And you don’t have to sit through the credits; there’s no “X-Men” epilogue.