As far as superhero movies go, Logan does not fit the usual mold. The villain is not someone with superpowers. The action happens in everyday settings. Sections of cities do not collapse into rubble. The good guys are not flawless paragons of virtue. That last bit especially describes the disillusioned, alcoholic, and suicidal Wolverine, who tends to go by his real name of Logan in this picture.
The plot begins with Logan working as a chauffer on both sides of the Mexican border in order to pay for the aged Dr. Xavier’s medicine. Along with Logan, the X-man Caliban helps to keep Dr. Xavier in hiding: the authorities are looking for him because they fear lest Xavier lose control of his powers and cause the demise of untold millions.
Entering into this bleak and stagnant life, a Mexican nurse leading a young girl with mutant powers begs for Logan’s help. She hopes that they can find sanctuary for the girl by going to a certain place in North Dakota. These two are running from an evil organization which hopes to exploit mutant powers for warfare. After some initial reluctance, Logan agrees to help the girl reach this rumored safe haven.
That’s as much as I can say without spoiling the plot. It will do you good to have watched the film Shane before watching Logan. There is much crossover thematically between the two. Showing parts of Shane during the movie makes it obvious that one is meant to think about Logan’s plight as similar to that of the gun fighter Shane. Both try to flee trouble in order to lead a normal life, but trouble comes to them.
Yours truly watched the black and white version, Logan Noir. This comes as part of the DVD set for the film. Though the original movie was shot for color, much of the film does translate very well to black and white. The scenes at night, indoors, or in cities were probably made more compelling this way. However, color would have been better for the scenes filmed in the Badlands. So, that is the only area where I think that one loses something by watching the black and white version.
The actors performed their roles with style and aplomb. There was a great deal of cursing for my taste, but it never reaches Die Hard level. The action scenes contained a surprising amount of gore, which the black and white made just a little less unpalatable. Once again, this is a great film, but not for the faint of heart. ★★★ out of four.