This Review will contain NO spoilers of Logan
Logan was an immaculate exercise in precision character focus forged by tragic development and intense emotion. Some call comic book movies, super hero films, and some of them are, but comics aren't always about a hero saving the world. These are complex characters with long histories of meticulous development. When the core of these characters are ignored in favor of special effects and display of power, we often end up with a disaster, or movies that don't quite feel real to us. Logan doesn't do that. Logan takes the correct path of dissecting who Wolverine is as a character and gives us a feature length film exploring that.
The movie is set in the year 2029. The X-men are gone. All that remains is Wolverine, Caliban, and a sickly Charles Xavier, so far as we know. With this set up, the film is already setting it self apart from the rest of the X-universe. That was the first good move. The second is introducing the conflict created by his age and a younger version of himself, a female clone, that we know from the comics as X-23, or Laura Kinney. The movie takes references the pages of our favorite comics, but does not stunt itself by trying to follow too closely to any one storyline. Instead, it creates its own setting, and it's own world without fear of conflicting continuity since the other X-men movies are set in the past (relative to our time) an this one is set in the future.
The world is a dusting dwelling of depression. This can be attributed to the state of the world, or perhaps to the state of Logan's life. He's old. Very old. He's seen a lot. He's watched the people around him die and he's tired. His attitude toward life is that which begs for silence and solitude. He doesn't want trouble. He doesn't want conflict, but of course, it finds him anyways. The way he handles it speaks volumes to his character, and in some instances it can summon a litany of feelings in the watching audience- happiness, sadness, pity, drear, and so much more. The film runs on pure emotion, which is a powerful concept in itself given that both Logan and Laura are so dismissive of their feelings. I guarantee that of any movie based on the X-men or characters surrounding them, this is the most emotionally moving to date.
Another thing I want to mention is that this isn't a bridge film. That's a trap that a lot of major films, especially comic book films, find themselves falling into. They create a movie so that it can link to another movie and fail at making the movie great as a standalone that nothing came before, and doesn't need to be followed up after. This is an self-encompassing standalone movie. As much as I love X-23, and want to see her more in the future, she doesn't need to be. This has a start, a middle and an end that doesn't leave us with questions wanting to be answered in future films, and I appreciate it for that.
I can't rate Logan among super hero films, because it isn't about being a hero. It's not even about mutants, not really. It's about a man reflecting on his long arduous life with the help of an old man and a daughter (clone) he didn't know he had. I can't really even rate it among X-men movies. I can rate it among comic book movies however, and it easily would make the top 5 list. It's that good. If you've read my writing before, I said a million times- characterization is key. If you want to make a good movie, remember that these are people we want to care about first, before they are mutants, metahumans, heroes, or whatever else, and that focus, above anything else, is what makes Logan, a grade A movie.
Thank you, Hugh Jackman, for being the Wolverine that the character deserves.