By now, the trailers for Logan (in theaters March 3) have made it very clear that this is not a typical superhero movie. Quiet and despairing, light on special effects and heavy on character drama, the third Wolverine solo film looks to be a drastic departure from previous X-Men films, not to mention the Marvel and DC Comics films that dominate the genre. At a December press event last year, I previewed the first 40 minutes of Logan, and I can tell you that superhero films are never going to be the same.
Logan takes place in a desolate near future, where mutants have largely died out and the glory days of the X-Men are long past. Logan (Hugh Jackman), formerly known as Wolverine, is a Jim Beam-chugging misanthrope who begins the film by violently slaughtering three armed criminals who try to steal his hubcaps. Living on a border town in Texas and driving a limousine for money, Logan has become the de facto protector of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who lives in hiding (his psychic brain has been classified by the U.S. government as “a weapon of mass destruction”) and suffers from severe dementia.
Watching these characters suffer so unheroically is incredibly depressing (not to mention how jarring it is to hear Wolverine and Professor X drop F-bombs). The film picks up considerably when Logan and Professor X find themselves in custody of an 11-year-old mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen), who appears to have the same powers as Wolverine. With a tattooed villain (Boyd Pierce) in pursuit, the three of them take off on a road trip to figure out who the girl is and what their next move should be.