Claws Out, Lights Down: The X-Men Franchise Goes Dark With Logan

When Hugh Jackman’s Logan takes a shotgun blast to the chest in the first 30 seconds of the new Wolverine movie (a result of a skirmish over some leased hub caps, no less) we know that this is a mutant with a death wish.

It’s 2029 and mutantkind has suffered a big setback (also, tigers are extinct… bummer). Logan is hiding out south of the US border with mutant tracker/“glorified truffle pig” Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and a distressingly ill Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Charles’ uber-powerful brain is at war with itself. Besieged by a dementia-like illness, he suffers from seizures that go seismic if he doesn’t have a steady supply of sedatives.

As if this post-mutant era garbage sandwich of an existence wasn’t bad enough already, X claims he’s been getting telepathic IM’s from a new mutant. Thing is, there haven’t been any new mutants for a quarter century—if there were, he or she could draw some really negative attention to Logan’s dusty hideout.

Clearly though, there is a new mutant and it’s obviously heading for them—which isn’t a spoiler considering Logan wouldn’t be much of a movie if it was just three sad men hiding out in the desert waiting to die of old age. Exactly who is this new superpowered kid? We won’t ruin that surprise for you, but we will say this: don’t bug her while she’s eating her cornflakes.

Played by the awesome Dafne Keen, X-Mini Laura is on the run from some bad dudes (led by Richard E. Grant’s Dr. Zander Rice) who want to put her back where she came from—a Mexican research facility doing work that’s long been outlawed in the US. As far as family and friends go, she’s got no one and it’s up to Charles and a reluctant Logan to keep her safe.

The trailers for Logan make the movie look very dark. They’re accurate. So are the brief glimpses of Wolverine-style action that the clips reveal. Logan features more adamantium-pierced skulls and claw-severed limbs than anyone needs (but everyone totally wants). Wolverine is angry (like, more than usual). You can see it in the way he looks for excuses to shred any adversary and also when he uses his mutant powers to furiously pop bullets from his chest like a regular human would spit out an olive pit. He hates mutants, most of all himself, so he drinks to the point of self-poisoning while carrying around a life-ending adamantium bullet like a talisman. There are poignant moments, yes, but not a lot of light. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a great movie—it’s easily the best one the franchise has put out since X2.

Directed by James Mangold (The Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma), Logan tears into theatres March 3. Check out another take on the film here, and watch the trailer below::