Logan is all about endings. For moviegoers it marks the end of Hugh Jackman’s nearly 20-year stint as Wolverine and one of the only superhero endings we’ve seen committed to film. Within the film itself, Logan details the end of a generation on the ropes.
In the grand scheme of genre storytelling the world of Logan is a subtler dystopia. It doesn’t beat you over the head with its driverless trucks and militarized borders, but they’re there. The year is 2029 and America is a country of disenfranchised women used as incubators for children MSRPs, xenophobia as rampant as automation and an unchanged upper class who are at most disaffected by the lot of it.
It’s the sum total of a generation of the reprehensible pursuing control for the sake of control, disinterested in the long term corrosion to society such actions reap. It’s the sum total of a generation of the commendable doing the best they can to haphazardly slap bandages on mortal wounds, hoping for the best but unable to predict the secondary and tertiary effects of their actions. It’s an imagined America duct-taped together by a waning patriarchy to be handed off to a girl who will outlive them all.
An aside: that girl is played by newcomer Dafne Keen, who goes toe to toe with Jackman and Patrick Stewart and still manages to astound with a feral physicality.
At the heart of Logan is the idea that there are a billions of parents and billions of kids and yet only one real inheritance between all of them, passed on with a billion intentions – to control, to exploit, to save, to support – and met with a billion receptions – disinterest, appreciation, spite, rebellion.
Essentially, it is a film about a guy who remembers his kid has a birthday the day of their birthday and has to scramble to make her a gift with the cooperation of his entire demographic.
It’s like Interstellar meets Jingle All the Way.
Logan is a great Western, a great American road film and a great “sins of the father” narrative with enough intellectual meat on the bone to gnaw on for a good while. I don’t know that it’s The Dark Knight come again, but Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine might just be the first X-Men film to actually be worthy of the caliber of performances the franchise receives.