With DC Comics and Marvel adventures spurning film releases at nearly the rate of presidential tweets, these filmmakers must strive for freshness on-screen that goes beyond only well-choreographed action sequences. These studios must balance staying accurate to their comic book inspired storylines while eliciting excitement for continual rollouts of new big-screen superheroes.  

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has easily overmatched DC Comics in this difficult task, mostly by infusing well-liked and funny characters as the foundation for their narratives.  From snarky “Iron Man” Tony Stark, the quintet of laughable rogues in “Guardians of the Galaxy”, to Paul Rudd’s “Ant-Man”, Marvel has mastered the successful 3-part ingredients of action, drama, and stand-up comedy.  But that successful recipe hasn’t always been followed by Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox’s release of their X-Men franchise since 2000.

Last year’s Oscar-deserving X-Men spinoff “Deadpool” celebrated the series’ best reception to date.  Now, however, comes the third and final “Wolverine” saga starring Hugh Jackman as Logan. Reprising his role as the mutant with his trademark claws, Jackman’s Logan finds himself working as a chauffeur along the Mexican border before trouble meets up with him.

Joining Jackman’s Logan is the X-Men leader, Professor X, portrayed by Patrick Stewart and albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant).  The trio do an excellent job bringing viewers up to speed on the fallout from the mad science experiments found in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and 2013’s “The Wolverine”.  With fewer mutants in existence, Logan must leave semi-retirement to protect those closest to him.

“Logan” offers plenty of entertainment to X-Men purists.  Those avid followers will enjoy the action drama and further developments of this “Wolverine” finale by Jackman.  Others, though, seeking to continue the outlandish fun and lightheartedness of 2016’s “Deadpool” formula will find “Logan” missing one-liners and playful banter towards the audience.  Still more watchable than any recent offerings by DC Comics, “Logan” straight-forward connection of dots minus any plot surprises or cliffhanger ending.

This film provides us and Jackman with a solid final Wolverine chapter that encompasses the usual action-packed dramatic fighting between superhero and a group of villains still wishing harm to others.  Be prepared for less humor, a few slow movie scenes, and more reluctance by Logan to draw out his claws.  There’s no typical Marvel post-credit movie spoilers after “Logan”.  But be sure to be in your seats for the film’s beginning to see a hilarious short skit performed by Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool character.  

Grade: B-

“Logan” is rated R for strong, brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity.  Its running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

(Patrick King is a resident of Tucson and writer for the REEL BRIEF movie blog at www.reelbrief.com.  You may email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com)


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