Logan is arguably the best X-Men movie in a long, jumbled line of X-Men movies, half of which technically do not count anymore. It is also the most distant movie from the X-Men universe because of its tone. The basic premise of the movie isn’t a clash between two titans or an epic battle for the fate of the world. It’s smaller and therefore feels more intimate. There are three main characters— Logan, Professor Xavier and the little girl Laura. While the latter rarely speaks in the movie, all three deliver powerful performances in what plays out more as a heartfelt drama rather than an action flick. Jackman has expressed that this is his final run as Wolverine, and he appears to have given it his all. It’s not always easy to do a solo superhero film without falling into clichés to produce drama and evoke emotion. Perhaps it’s the plot itself, the fact that this is not an origin film or just another adventure in the life of Wolverine, that dictates how much attention is given to emotion over action. This is, after all, the last Wolverine movie. At its core, Logan is not an X-Men film. Despite the claws, despite the talks of mutants, there are times throughout the movie where any semblance of the X-Men universe is shed, making way for a moving story about love and hope, life and death. Logan has stakes that feel real, and fight choreography that’s fluid and gorgeous instead of just computer-generated effects. Most importantly, Logan has characters with which you identify and about whom you care. It’s not just “great for a superhero movie,” it’s a great movie for any genre. Logan is the rare blockbuster that could be a game-changer. It will certainly change the way we look at other superhero movies and how history judges the entire MCU and DC Universe of films. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good popcorn superhero movie as much as the next guy (maybe even more than most critics), but Logan shows how deep one can go in the genre if they just approach it in a different way. In that sense, Logan deconstructs the modern superhero movie. It will be hard to put it back together again.
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