By Michael Welch `17
For millenials, Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. The actor has cemented himself as the face of the X-Men hero by starring in a number of films as the character. However, Jackman’s run as the iconic and grizzled hero is finally complete. Following Jackman’s last film as Wolverine, Logan, fans will never forget everything he has done for the X-Men franchise and the superhero genre.
The first X-Men film came out in 2000 and is responsible for setting the precedent that the superhero genre can be entertaining and profitable. With the Marvel and DC cinematic universes grossing billions, it can be difficult to believe that people used to doubt the potential of superheroes on the big screen. However, these billions would not have been possible without Hugh Jackman’s original and memorable portrayal that launched superhero movies into popularity.
The X-Men franchise itself has made over 10 films and grossed over $1 billion, and Jackman has been the lead star of almost every film. Some fans wish Fox Studios would delve deeper into the X-Men universe for protagonists and stop focusing on Wolverine for approximately nine films. However, nobody ever truly tires seeing Jackman in sideburns screaming while his veins pulse and pop out of his body. Fans have come back to support Jackman yelling and slicing up everyone on screen nine times, but Logan finally puts an end to Jackman’s historic run.
Logan is different from other X-Men entries despite centering, once again, on the titular Wolverine. The film fast-forwards to when Logan is an old man trying to protect what little he has left and survive. Showing the Wolverine we all grew up watching as an old man proved to be a fitting send-off for the character. Particularly because this entry may be the strongest in the Wolverine series. Rotten Tomatoes rated it over a 90 percent fresh and fans and critics agree that it serves a gore-filled dose of Wolverine action while maintaining a surprising amount of heart.
Patrick Stewart, who has his own legacy as the popular Professor X, also returns for Logan and delivers some needed humor between the gore and action. Dafne Keen also brings some exciting new material to mingle with the old as the younger X-23, a clone of Wolverine, claws and all. The father-daughter relationship between Wolverine and X-23 is where Logan successfully delivers its heart.
Logan satisfies even the pickiest X-Men fans, giving fans the Wolverine movie both they and Hugh Jackman deserve. Past entries such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine both fell short of this goal, so it’s nice to see the writers and studio finally let Jackman run loose in a well-made movie not motivated by selling toys.
In an interview with 20th Century Fox, Jackman spoke on his relationship to his character and the fans, saying, “It’s always with me. But I’ll miss it at times, I felt like I’m part of that family. This movie in a way is a love letter to the fans. It’s who I speak to. If not every day, then every other day of my life, because they never hold back. Never, ever.”
Logan is a love-letter to fans who have appreciated Jackman’s portrayal since 2000. The superhero genre owes a debt of gratitude to everything Logan and Jackman have done for their franchises.