LOGAN, the latest and last (for now) solo Wolverine movie, was not kidding around when it opted for Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” as its trailer music. It’s not just the severity of the title, but the elegiac lyrics, and the dying man as guiding spirit / inspiration. Some trailers lie but this one spoke world-weary truth. This is exactly the kind of movie James Mangold, who also directed the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, delivers.
Wolverine’s mutation were never those iconic claws, which were a science experiment to weaponize him, but his ability to instantly heal which also slows down his aging process. The movie franchise got very silly about this, placing him in the civil war context in X-Men Origins as if the once feral Canadian hero was an immortal vampire rather than a mutant.
But Logan is anything but silly about aging. That is wise since this franchise is long in the tooth. What’s more Hugh Jackman does age as he is not, alas, a mutant — unless you count bonafide movie star charisma as a superpower, which: fair point!
So Logan hits Jackman with harsh light, exposes the wrinkles, grays the hair, and piles on the scarring and ‘seen better days’ makeup. Logan jumps ahead to the future of 2029 in which everything in the US has gone to total shit (this seems less like science fiction than probability given Trump’s America) and our world, particular for mutants, is unforgiving like a dystopian western. Logan is not healing quickly like he used to and is hiding decrepit Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) from authorities.