My Rating: 4 stars
This movie came with a lot of hype. People were going on and on about how dark this new X-Men movie was. But, the X-Men franchise has always been really dark. It’s always been about persecution, exploitation of vulnerability, and/or self-loathing. And, the Wolverine character has traditionally been one of the most conflicted characters in the franchise. So, I really didn’t know how they were going to make this movie much more depressing. But, it really does find a way. The movie is definitely a lot more bleak and gritty than what we’ve become accustomed to with X-Men films.
As you might infer, this is about Logan/Wolverine, and we find him in really bad shape. He’s alone, physically broken down, and with nothing to live for. We learn that everyone he’s ever known and loved is dead or dying. And even he, the formerly indestructible self-healer, is slowly falling apart. He has nothing to live for, and no one left to care about. And, things really don’t get much better for him. He’s introduced to a mysterious but fierce young girl, and neither of them really wants much to do with the other. Logan is given instructions that she’s being hunted by bad people, and that she really needs to get across the Canadian border. And, he finds that he really has no choice but to help her. The only alternative is to abandon her and then try to live with himself. So, he does. And, the rest of the movie is pretty much just the pair of them running away from the baddies, and leaving a trail of innocent people dead in their wake. There’s not a lot of justice in this story.
After having seen the film, I think the answer to what makes this story particularly dark is that it removes most of the hope that was present in any of the previous movies. It’s not a movie that gives us anything very good to cling to by the end. And, viewers are going to have to find a way to be ok with that. I really enjoyed the story, and I think others will too as long as you can tolerate more than a little bleakness. Mostly, the acting is really good. Everyone was raving about the performance given by the little girl, Dafne Keen. And, I have to agree. She really is a ferocious, little creature. I’m usually a bit skeptical when the masses are going bonkers over something, but in this case, I think the hype was justified. I recommend this movie. It’s just different enough to be interesting.