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(James Mangold)

These violent delights have violent ends.

Those words ran through my mind while watching the bloody and violent Logan, Hugh Jackman's final outing as the razor sharp Canadian. For years now, Jackman has been trying to get a hard R Wolverine film and after the success of Deadpool, the studio finally agreed to it. This film is so different from the previous X-Men films that it makes you wonder what could have been done with those previous entries. Logan curses, decapitates, slashes, drinks, curses some more, cuts more limbs off, so on and so on. They even manage to through in some boobs. This is no kids flick.

It's the distant future, there hasn't been a mutant born in over 25 years. Mutants are few and far between and the X-Men are no more. Logan is now a limo driver, picking up odd jobs here and there to get enough cash to buy a boat, so he can finally take an ailing Charles Xavier away to live the rest of their lives in solitude and peace. As always, trouble seems to find Logan, as a woman pleads with him to take her and her young daughter across the boarder to Canada. Shady government forces are after the child, who seems to have a lot more in common with Logan than he expects.

After the bloated and rather dullness viewing of the last X-Men film, Apocalypse, it is most definitely a nice change of pace to have Logan be a more grounded and personal film. No longer are the 'big bads' trying to take over the world by destroying cities. The story here is simple and clear cut, protect the girl. The lack of a budget (less than $100 million) meant no in your face CGI or 'been there, seen that' deja vu. Mangold gives the film a sense of visceral realism, something that has been missing from Wolverine films for awhile. Coupled with swan song performances, Logan is one of the better films in the entire series.

Jackman has been playing this character for almost 20 years. It's his defining career achievement and he wants to go out on top. He claims this is his last outing as the character and I hope he stick to his word because Logan is a beautiful send off. He's older, slower, his healing powers are not what they use to be, his body is littered with battle scars. He's done fighting the good fight. Two central characters in the entire series are without question, Wolverine and Professor X. Their dynamic in this film is touching in a father/son sense. These two characters have been through so much together, to see them at their lowest, is somewhat sad. Charles is a broken man, he's no longer the confident professor we all knew him as, yet he still has the ability to impart knowledge from time to time. There is a touching moment between the characters at a dinner table, reminiscing about their special school. Maybe my favourite moment in the film. It's small, it's tender, it's just a few characters eating and talking. The history is what makes this scene more powerful and Stewart and Jackman nail it.

The film is dark, depressing and brutally violent. Within the first few minutes we are treated to a scene where Logan has to literally dispatch a few people trying to steal his rims. In the previous films, he would slice them up, sure, but here he does so with more blood and more limbs falling off. I never thought I needed to see Wolverine's adamantium claws impale someone through the jaw, so we can see said claws through his mouth, but after this film I realized that yes...I did need to see that. So yes, this film does earn the R rating. So much that it felt a bit forced at some points. I mentioned earlier that the film has some nudity, is that really needed? Some woman in the back of the limo flashing her boobs was really necessary? I get that you wanted the R rating, but it just seemed out of left field. Add on the fact that Patrick Stewart throws a few F-Bombs himself and I felt taken out of the film for a moment or two.

At one point in the film, the characters are watching the western film Shane, if you are familiar with the film, you'll immediately see the parallels with Logan. Mangold got his chance to play in the sandbox with this character and he gives us a proper Wolverine film. This is a modern western and nothing about the film comes off as fancy. The film is finally presented like the character, dirty, wild and crazy. The newest addition is the little girl, X-23, played by newcomer Dafne Keen. I'm not a fan of kids in films when they have a substantial role, they tend to get on my nerves. Yet Keen gives as wild and vicious a performance as Jackman. I loved her in this. She doesn't say much, but she can throw down with the best of them. She may even be more lethal than Logan, sporting additional claws and a more limber gymnastic attack style, she can come at you from any angle. Mangold gives us enough scenes with these two taking out bad guys, that I had a smile on my face while they sliced and diced.

I do wish the film connected a bit more with the previous entries. We are given very little on what happened to the X-Men, the film drops little hints here and there but I wish they went a little deeper into it. I understand they want this film to stand on its own, feel different and be different and they accomplish that. Yet, I felt like it needed to complete the circle a bit more, the disconnect with the other films hurts it a bit.

Mangold and Jackman have stripped this film down to its bare adamantium bones. In doing so, they rely less on the flash and more on the personal road that Jackman takes this character on. Without a doubt, Jackman's best performances as the character in the series. While not a perfect film, it's the perfect one for Jackman to end on. This violently dark depressing take on the character is one that will be remembered by the fans.