First and foremost, this is a movie for adults. Not that kids shouldn’t see it (they can see and hear worse by watching the news or by mistyping in a search engine), but it is a comic book story told in a mature and expansive manner.
There is your usual themes, good vs. bad, age vs. youth, a metric tonne of ‘fucks’ vs. eviscerated human heads. But…there it is more…
HERE THERE BE PSEUDO-SPOILERS!
Logan (fucking Hugh Jackman) is a ‘father’. Not in the usual sense, rather his DNA was used to make another just like him. A little girl (Laura played by effing Dafne Keen). A little girl made out of knives…his little girl made out of knives. Like him in temperament and ability, they are father and child, whether he likes it or not.
Through the tutelage of Francis Xavier (fucking Patrick Stewart), Logan is charged with saving the girl. His girl. This is where I’ll go off the rails a bit.
Logan is the perfect metaphor for the first few months of fatherhood. He is caught off guard. He is defensive and confused. At times, he fully regrets it and denounces the idea saying in utter frustration “I suck at this”. But more than that, he just doesn’t know what to do, yet still, he continues to do it in his own way and to the best of his abilities.
There is one particular scene, a conversation in a car, where he is yelling at her and she is yelling at him. Two weapons, ready to go off, but so much the same that they can’t help but continue the conflict though they frustrated by it. They are hyper focused, their instincts are controlling their reactions. Logan’s (old, tired, at the end of his rope) and Laura’s (young and angry and scared and stubborn). It is the immovable object vs. the irresistible force, but one has to give. Parents know which one this usually is.
At one point in the film, while being invited to shack up with a family on a farm, Xavier says to a rammy Logan, “This is what life looks like: people love each other. You should take a moment…”, this sentiment is dismissed by Logan. Yet in the final seconds of the film we see Logan, a beaten Logan, put his hand on his daughter’s face, and in a moment of pure realization say, “Oh, this is what it is.” Laura replies, “Daddy”. Logan has submitted to the truth and in doing so, has found sanctuary.
References to the film Shane are a constant aura throughout the film, there is even a scene where they all watch the film together. The lines, “A man has to be what he is, Joey. Can’t break the mould. I tried it and it didn’t work for me.” embrace the overall story arch. It is within this that arc Logan is emboldened throughout his life. Is is only when he comes face to face with his humanity and the staunch reality of undeniable love the he realizes that he was the mould (literally and figuratively), and he only he can change it.
In the end, he does.
This movie is, as they say, a fucking gooder.