"Logan" was always destined to be Hugh Jackman's final film playing Wolverine. The movie had to have a script that validated a finale for a legendary actor/superhero pairing. That was accomplished, as was so much more with one of the best X-Men films of all-time.

About the movie

"Logan" is the third standalone Wolverine film, part of the larger X-Men franchise. It was directed by James Mangold, who directed the previous standalone, "The Wolverine." The movie was released as scheduled, on March 3, 2017.

Logan's body is falling apart, being destroyed by the same chemical that made him super in the first place.

He is taking care of an even more frail Professor Xavier when he comes across a young girl who seems to have the same claws he does. He is ultimately tasked with protecting Laura from forces seeking her capture and take her to safe haven while coming to grips with his own mortality.

Superhero marvel

Hugh Jackman's lasting legacy to Wolverine will be "Logan." He played the role for 17 years, but the only movie that transcended the superhero conventions he was stuck in was his latest release. Jackman showed vulnerability and grit, fighting through a malaise to give hope to a genre generally short on it, as of late.

If this is Patrick Stewart's final turn as Charles Xavier, he also goes out a champ.

Xavier was the comic relief of the film, for sure, but he was also so much more, as he became the moral compass responsible for bringing Logan back to reality. He may be confined to a wheelchair in the film, but Stewart's performance rises above physical limitations, to the surprise of nobody.

Meanwhile, Dafne Keen is a revelation as Laura.

Relying on such a young actress (she's 11 or 12 years old) to play a pivotal role alongside Stewart and Jackman is a daunting task. Yet she seemingly has no qualms going toe-to-toe with the legends and showing off her own violent and dark streak. Her ability to pivot moods and draw sympathy make the movie what it is.

And what that is can be viewed as a movie about humanity.

All of the protagonists are mutants with superhero abilities, yet each is keenly aware of their own mortality and role in the world. None of them are on a mission to save the world from some seismic, intergalactic threat. It's just the journey of a young girl and aging man trying to capture a sense of home, while the eldest of the three lives in a makeshift dwelling, watching the moonlight from his prison of a bed.

"Logan" is beautifully shot and beautifully told. The camera makes Logan seem monstrous at times, but also places him in incredibly intimate situations, from carrying his old teacher to having a fatherly connection with the girl born to be his replica. The movie also grasps on to the drama of the Western, forcing the characters to kill or be killed in a world where the small picture is just as meaningful as the bigger one.

If there's one qualm to be had, the violence can be a bit much at times - it's why "Logan" received an 'R' rating. Blood spurts everywhere, claws go through entire faces; it can be a bit much, especially when an 11-year-old girl gets in on the action.

Final thoughts

The violence never takes away from the overall mission of the movie, though: to provide a grounded superhero journey that never tries to geek itself out of its shoes. The nods to the comics are great, as is the relative lack of superpowers that have become commonplace in other films. The mutants in "Logan" are just that -- mutants, but still human in their genealogy. It's what makes "Logan" one of the best superhero movies in recent memory.

Rating: A.