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loganIn the year 2029, Logan (Hugh Jackman), a.k.a. “Wolverine”, is working as a limousine driver and hiding out in the Mexican desert with an ageing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Caliban (Stephen Merchant). The once-powerful Charles is losing his memory and no longer able to control his powers without the help of drugs. The mutant population is virtually extinct. Charles and Logan have dreams of buying a boat and living out their days in the open ocean where the world would be safe from their powers.

When a mysterious woman, Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), begs Logan to take her and her daughter, Laura (Dafne Keen), to Canada, he rejects her. He changes his mind when a wad of much-needed cash is offered, but it is already too late for Gabriela.

Logan soon learns that a group of mercenaries led by Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) working for “scientific researcher” Dr. Xander Rice (Richard E. Grant) at Transigen, have been breeding a new generation of children to become mutants and training them to be super-soldiers. When the nurses at Transigen discovered the true purpose of the children they have been nurturing, they helped the children escape, with the aim of getting them across the US border where Eden awaits.You don’t have to be a fan of the X-Men or the spin-off Wolverine franchises to enjoy and appreciate Logan as a beautifully-crafted cinematic experience.  The plot is simple enough to follow – easier than the multiple timelines created by the various iterations of the X-Men films. Nor do you need to be a fan of the superhero genre to enjoy Logan as an exemplary piece of action and drama. Writers James Mangold, Scott Frank and Michael Green take us on a poignant journey to show us the secret lives of forgotten heroes. These are superheroes who, despite their mutant powers, are still humans, with feelings and weaknesses, people who wish for a normal life. Loyalty, love and the will to survive and protect are still as strong as any superpower they possess.

Jackman gives one of the best performances of his career. Here, he looks old, acts old, and just wants to be left alone, just as he did before he met the Professor a lifetime ago. But when you get him mad, the old Wolverine is never far away. Stewart’s Professor X has never looked so helpless, yet ever optimistic that Logan will do the right thing. Young Keen as Laura, the little girl who was bred with Logan’s genetic code, slays with her deathly stares. She does not utter a word for almost three-quarters of the film but you know not to mess with her. In Logan, she holds her own with Stewart and Jackman. Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal and Quincy Fouse also feature in a critical storyline.

Directed by James Mangold, Logan is now showing across Australia. It is rated R so you can expect a lot of extremely bloody and violent scenes, but don’t be put off by this because this is one beautifully-told story you don’t want to miss.