For seventeen years, Hugh Jackman has been the most interesting and popular character from the X-Men universe...Logan, aka Wolverine. "X-Men" (2000), "X-Men 2 (2003), "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009), "X-Men: First Class" (2011), "The Wolverine" (2013), "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014), "X-Men: Apocalypse" (2016) and now "Logan". Nine films in all.


The Wolverine is, ageless having lived for centuries and, sense he immediately regenerates body parts, is as indestructible as The Hulk. In fact that would have been a pretty cool contest, except Marvel can't make up their mind who to cast as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. That was never a problem with Wolverine however, Jackman got along with everyone, managed to toss in a few credible roles in-between - including the Oscar nominated performance as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables", and he avoided the prima donna problem with actors who rely on one signature role.


But, he could not escape the reality of reality, he is getting old. He is now 48-years old and time is not moving backwards. It's difficult to play an ageless person when you can't stop aging. So the geniuses came up with an idea they hope will keep the X-Men fanbase interested and continue the franchise. They will eliminate most of the X-Men that we remember and leave Professor Xavier and Wolverine pretty much alone to take care of each other. They have to because they are both sick and their powers can't help them.

The film takes place in the not-to-distant future with the biggest civilian advancement being the invention of the autotruck - driverless trailer trucks that ply the highways running over anything that gets in their way. (Something else for blue collar workers to worry about.) The professor is hiding out with Caliban (Stephen Merchant), a mutant who can sense mutants with GPS accuracy. Wolverine comes and goes as he needs to earn a living driving a very cool Chrysler limo.


There is a team of agents out looking for not only them, but another group of mutant children who are on the loose. It turns out this children were created in a lab and escaped when they were classified as expendable. One of the children, Laura (Dafne Green), travelling with a woman named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) finds Logan and requests hiss help which at first he rejects. His powers are diminishing and he senses his time is running out. But Professor Xavier - who has been classified as a weapon of mass destruction because of the fall-out from occasional seizures - compels Logan to aid the girl.


They are being pursued by agent Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), a cyborg modified dude who really just wants the girl because he doesn't consider Wolverine nor Professor X threats anymore. But the girl he deems as dangerous for some reason. That reason is revealed when they get into a scuff and she has the same power as Logan, with bonus parts!


It becomes a familiar romp with plenty of gratuitous violence and a very well conceived story with new, well developed characters. We won't need to revisit were Laura came from because it was meticulously spelled out during the two hour and seventeen minute runtime. You know what's going to happen, so you only need to know how.


Jackman does a great job play an older, gruffer, Logan who is going through what we all go through as we age - diminished capabilities.


"Logan" is a well-written continuation of the X-Men series that focuses on it's most interesting character, Wolverine. It will sate the appetite of X-Men fans for a continued presence in the ever evolving Marvel universe.   -- GEOFF BURTON