I trust James Mangold with stories. I loved his remake of the western 3:10 to Yuma, and now he brings the X-Men franchise and specifically Wolverine’s story to a colossal finale allowing a curtain call for the Mercutio of the mutant clan. Wolverine, the classic loner with adamantium claws and a zeal for personal justice becomes Logan, a limo driver for hire in 2029 who also cares for the aging and unwell Professor X.
Charles Xavier is not finished finding and training young mutants, however, and the two must venture back out into the world to rescue a small girl with striking similarities to our hero, Logan.
Mangold wrote the screenplay then directed the film. Taking this film through Gladiator rounds, he begins lopping heads and slicing limbs to appease the masses of film-goers. It easily earns the R-rating with both language and violence in the first five minutes, setting the stage for a gritty and brutal film. Somehow, however, this film flows like a western, the sheriff admonishing the ruthless with cruel justice. Somehow Logan becomes a Christ-figure. And, somehow this film overwhelms with significance as it builds relational depth between characters and as it proclaims the truths that brutality is not without consequence and a life lived selfishly is lived without purpose.