Out now in Cineworld, Logan is Hugh Jackman's final movie as the clawed, savage Wolverine and word of mouth is pretty unanimous as to it being his best. Here's why this could be the first Wolverine movie that's Oscar-worthy...
Hugh Jackman reinvents his signature character
Although Hugh perhaps isn't as sprightly as he once was, he's hardly a senior citizen. Even so the new movie finds the ageing Wolverine at a pivotal crossroads in his life as he ekes out a meagre existence on the Mexican border. However his desire to remain below the radar is shattered when he is compelled to protect young mutant Laura/X-23 (Dafne Keen).
It's a classic case of taking a character we've come to know and love over the past 17 years and turning our perceptions of them on their head, a move that invests the storyline with added poignancy and melancholy. By most accounts it's a dramatic decision that works wonders, a superhero movie with emotional depth as well as action that ends Jackman's extraordinary run as the character in the best possible way.
It goes gritty – and lives up to its promise
As if the feral glimpses in the trailer, the 15 certificate and the reviews didn't make it clear enough, Wolverine doesn't play nice in this movie. In fact it's the first movie featuring the character where the violence feels thrillingly visceral and in line with the character's abilities, a textbook example of how to turn infuse a grown-up tone into the material whilst still keeping casual fans on board.
It draws on the tone of Hollywood classics
Less a mutant extravaganza and more a sun-streaked, dust-blown Western, Logan explicitly hearkens back to classics like The Searchers and High Noon, evoking memories of when the Western was at its peak.
Director James Mangold, who helmed the 3:10 to Yuma remake, has been acclaimed for molding Wolverine's ongoing saga to the needs of one of the oldest, most popular movie genres of all time, making it something of an experimental gamble that has paid off. Think you've seen everything that superhero films can throw at you? Think again.
Patrick Stewart also bows out in style
Not only are we preparing to say goodbye to Hugh Jackman. One of Britain's most esteemed stars of stage and screen bids farewell to the role of the noble Charles Xavier, the once-proud leader of the X-Men who has been reduced, along with Logan, to a barebones existence in the middle of the desert. There's no denying Stewart's tenure ends on the highest of possible notes, the actor's presence further reinforcing the fact that this is no ordinary comic book movie but one dealing with genuine emotion.
"What's special about Logan is that it manages to deliver the visceral goods, all the hardcore Wolverine action its fans could desire, while still functioning as a surprisingly thoughtful, even poignant drama-a terrific movie," raves AA Dowd in the AV Club.
Writes Sherri Linden in The Hollywood Reporter: "Seamlessly melding Marvel mythology with Western mythology, James Mangold has crafted an affectingly stripped-down standalone feature, one that draws its strength from Hugh Jackman's nuanced turn as a reluctant, all but dissipated hero."
And raves Brian Truitt in USA Today: "Easily the best Wolverine outing, Logan is The Dark Knight of the mutant-filled X-franchise, a gripping film that transcends the comic-book genre by saying something important."
And those are just three of the thrilled responses to the movie. Need we say more?