Tired. That was the overwhelming feeling I had after watching 2.5 hours of that movie on the big screen. And tired, too, were the characters, especially Logan a.k.a. Wolverine.
He was far from the prime Wolverine that we came to know and love many years ago. Gone are the days of the endless power, instant healing capabilities, and deadly fighting skills with his razor sharp claws. What was left was just an old, exhausted man, on the last miles of his journey through life. He was slow, he was weak, he could hardly run anymore, and he was really dying.
Besides, he was very, very lonely. His X-Men friends and comrades had long gone, leaving only him with Charles Xavier, hiding from the government in a desert in the border between USA and Mexico. Moreover, it was not a powerful, empathetic Charles that had been the bedrock of the X-Men foundation. Instead, it was an old man, weak and with lots of diseases, including seizure and dementia. He was still powerful, and he still had power over others’ minds, but the power had run out of his control, and he became as much of a threat to whoever was around him. A ticking time bomb just waiting to explode.
Logan took care of him, fulfilling his part of the deal that he had made with Charles long time ago when he rescued him from his haunted past. He was trying his best to be patient, even though he still had some outbursts here and there. Anyway, taking care of an old man with dementia is never easy, let alone the fact that that old man could kill you or drive you insane without even realizing. Tough job, Logan.
It was understandable why Logan was so reluctant to take the new girl, a mutant named Lara, under his wings, or may I say, his claws. He had had enough troubles to deal with. He was barely getting by, and life on the run was the last thing he would want, with a wheelchair bound old man in tow. But in the end, he was still a hero, and what was a hero to do but to save the day. So here you have it, Logan, old and weak, fighting again for survival, and probably a better future.
It was hard to see Charles die (Oops, spoiler alert). It was even harder to see Logan deteriorating and was only a shadow of himself. And it was painful to see him die in the end (Spoiler alert again). But that is how life works. He had a long, meaningful life. Not beautiful, but meaningful. And even in the last hour of life, he spent it the way he would love to: Protect others, be the bearer of the burden so others can have a better future. He is a real leader, even though he never admitted that. Seeing him stand back to let the mutant kids run away reminded me of the scene in the X-Men 2 movie many years ago, where he defended the school and saved all the students.
Anyway, it was some kind of consolation to know that he did not die in vain, and his death opened a new chapter for many lives, including Lara, his daughter (well, in a way, or perhaps more like a clone, since they made her in the lab with is DNA sample). And I think he would prefer that to dying slowly with the poison inside his body killing him one cell after another.
Ok, let’s talk a bit about Lara. She was the product of the next phase of the Weapon X program. The program went haywire, and she escaped the lab together with a bunch of other mutant kids. They made a deal to meet somewhere in the USA to find a dreamland where they could live without fear. But before she could get there, she had to overcome a huge war machinery coming to get her back to the lab. Then Charles found her during one of his rare conscious moments. And that how everything became entangled.
Lara is a tough kid, with wild nature and very sharp claws. In the beginning, she was more an animal than a girl, but with the genuine care from Charles, and the tough love from Logan, she became more and more of a human, and by the end of the movie, they forged a beautiful bond, and she was truly heartbroken when his newfound family was taken from her. That’s the difference between a human and a machine. Human can think, can feel, can have emotions, and are therefore harder to control. Even if they were raised in the lab, they were still kids with feelings, not just animals living by instinct, or cold blooded killing machines. And that was the main reason why the Weapon X program was stopped in favor of creating truly emotionless clones that only followed instructions.
With the demise of all the old guards, I am not very sure how they will continue the X-Men universe. Or will they can it and only continue the Avenger assembly? Time will tell, but at least, there is still something to build on. Lara will surely be a good replacement for Logan, and those kids have enough superpowers to defend themselves and defeat any upcoming invasion. All they need is just training, to control and make full use of their potential. Something that Charles had done with the X-Men first class.