Logan (Hugh Jackman), as the clawed one is called throughout the film, is slower of gait and greyer of beard than he was in earlier “Wolverine” films. He owns an armor-plated stretch limo business in El Paso and his super-healing powers aren’t what they once were.
He still enjoys visits with the nonagenarian Professor X (Patrick Stewart), living in a water tank fallen on its side outside Juarez. In addition to Logan, there’s the heliophobic mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant) trying to make shepard’s pie for his buddies on a tight budget. The Professor’s friends must pinch black market dementia medication for him to get a tourniquet on the seizures he suffers from the pills. Given the rate at which he drinks whisky, it’s possible that Logan biggest issue is dietary.
Set in 2029, the roads are full of border patrol vigilantes rounding up children and caging them in black sites. Two of the most enthusiastic kidnappers work for the shadowy Transigen project: Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant), a mad scientist who splices mutant DNA into babies, and his attack dog Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), tatted and cyborg-armed.
They are keen to track down tween escapee Laura, and return her to their facility. Laura gets to Logan and Professor X first; her goal is to reunite with her fellow wunderkinds in place called Eden.
In case anyone was unclear that we’re watching a Marvel Western, director James Mangold has Laura and the Professor watch “Shane,” confirming once and for all that they don’t make black hats like Jack Palance anymore.
At least Mangold can be satisfied that his film always feels like a standalone picture, unlike other Marvel movies.
Still, when the narrative ends, we’re left to reflect that there are only two certainties in the Marvel world: Death, and the reboot.
“Logan” is showing at the Sonoma 9 Cinemas. Rated R. Running time 2:15. Visit www.cinemawest.com.