There’s a lot of great stuff in Logan. Swearing, violence, an overwhelming sense of dread and depression – all things that help make a fun, enjoyable, feel good family movie.
But, as with all comic book movies, it’s hard to go the entire way through without a single fantastical element that makes more than a few eyes roll in the theater while they’re watching it. With James Mangold’s last Wolverine film, imaginatively titled The Wolverine, this was the Silver Samurai, the third-act villain that turned an okay-ish samurai movie into a cartoon.
In Logan, the same thing happens again, almost beat for beat, as, in order to provide the film with a genuine threat, the last half hour of the movie introduces X-24, an exact genetic clone of Wolverine.
According to Hugh Jackman, he was initially very, very opposed to the idea.
“I was very skeptical of having X-24 being played by me. I understood what it represented and thematically the idea of battling himself, which of course is right at the core of this character that we never fully got to, so I kind of loved the externalization of that. But I also know that myself as an actor and fans of Wolverine come up to me in the street every day and go, ‘We wanna see that full berserker animalistic crazy off-the-wall Wolverine,’ right? That we don’t feel we’ve fully seen it, so I was like, ‘Jim if we introduced halfway or near the end of the movie that full berserker animalistic crazy Wolverine and he’s somehow fighting our hero, audiences won’t know what to feel.’ And I remember him saying, ‘Trust me, trust me, trust me.’ And I was a bit of a pain in the ass on that one, I was like, ‘I’m just not sure. Let’s keep exploring it and exploring it.’ When I saw the movie it’s just clear, for some reason I think because he skewers Patrick Stewart in that moment the audience just sort of hates him. We did some subtle things, I changed the bridge of my nose, I wore contacts—I just wanted him to look a little different from myself. And I think by that point we’d created already the Wolverine that people wanted to see. So anyway, that was one of my examples of being wrong (laughs).”
You know what, though, Hugh? You weren’t wrong.
X-24 is probably the weakest element in an otherwise perfect movie. He’s exactly the same villain that we’ve seen so many times before in X-Men movies. He’s essentially exactly the same as Weapon 11 (the Deadpool) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and we all know how well that went down with fans.
X-24 is also pretty much identical to Deathstrike in X2: a villain with powers comparable to Wolverine’s, with an adamantium skeleton and claws. All these villains are exactly the same, with minor differences.
Besides, why is Alexander Pierce so eager to throw everything away once he’s got a clone of Wolverine? He already has a clone of Wolverine, and, as has been established in plenty of X-Men movies, Wolverine’s powers are just about the least useful powers you could have.
So he’s good at stabbing people? Who cares? Pierce also has access to the DNA of a mutant who can swallow enemies up inside a tree. Surely that’s more useful.
In a movie that features an old man who can kill crowds of people with his mind, by accident, it’s hard to believe that yet another Wolverine clone is the epitome of fighting.
But hey, that’s a single weak point in an otherwise pretty flawless movie.
If you’re reading this, Hugh Jackman, we totally agree with you. But we’re grateful for the movie as a whole.