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Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman in Logan, photo courtesy 20th Century Fox
Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman in Logan, photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

 

Logan’s a rough ride—raw and bloody and dark. And it’s the best superhero film since The Dark Knight.

It succeeds in part because it’s not trying to be a superhero film. While Logan and Charles Xavier (Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, both in their final turns as the characters) were once indeed superheroes, this story is worlds away from the genre’s colorful bombast. It’s a Western filled with parched land and frontier justice, or maybe a strange family drama. For all its R-rated excess, Logan is driven by story. And like all good stories, it has something interesting—something powerful—to say. About meaning. About family. And maybe especially about faith.

Logan is not a faith-based film, not by any stretch.  But squint your eyes a little bit, and you’ll see a resonant Christian fable in play, and the film makes so many references to God that I think its makers knew what they were doing. Yes, the film is bloody. But there’s something salvific in the blood shed here. And to really pull the most we can out of this story, we’ll need to start with Logan himself and the literal core of his being: his adamantium skeleton. (Caution: Spoilers Ahead)

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