Let’s be honest; X-Men Origins: Wolverine was terrible and The Wolverine was patchy. Therefore the odds of a third Wolverine film being incredible were low. But sometimes Hollywood defies logic and Logan is a great example of this.
In a sense this is what fans have wanted for a long time; a 15 certificate version where Wolverine can be let off the leash. However while you get this you also get something you wouldn’t expect. You also get depth, character and a sombre atmosphere more inkeeping with a western (though the showing of Shane in the background slightly laboured this).
While Hugh Jackman is excellent as Logan there also needs to be a shoutout to Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier, here offering a distinctly different take on the character. We are also introduced to Dafne Keen as the borderline feral Laura. There are other supporting characters (including Stephen Merchant as Caliban and Richard E Grant as a sinister scientist) but ultimately these are the most engaging.
Indeed if anything this is the sole weakness of an otherwise near perfect comic film. The villains are fine and don’t do anything wrong but feel a bit functional. Fortunately the western/road movie main narrative is so engaging that this is a forgivable flaw.
People talk of “superhero fatigue” but this is a great example of how it is possible to refresh the genre. While Deadpool did this with cheekiness, humour and a shattering of the fourth wall this one takes the near opposite approach, treating the story with an earnestness that is admirable and the director James Mangold deserves a lot of credit for it.
In short this is an excellent film, a drama that both enhances and surpasses its genre.