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Time waits for no mutant in Hugh Jackman's grim and explosively violent swansong as one of the most iconic characters in the X-Men universe. Set in the year 2029, Logan paints a bleak portrait of super-powered beings on the verge of extinction in a brutal, intolerant world that destroys what it cannot understand. Director James Mangold turbocharges the muscular action sequences including several bruising skirmishes between the lead character and his pursuers that invariably end with those razor-sharp claws slicing through flesh like a hot knife through butter. There is plenty of spectacle here, punctuating a moving story of unconventional families in crisis, exemplified by the touching relationship between the title character and his 90-year-old surrogate father, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). When protegee defies mentor, the script arms Stewart with some crisp and occasionally potty-mouthed rebukes: "I wish I could say you were a good pupil, but the words would choke me!" These outbursts are tinged with regret and a mournful acknowledgement that no one is immune from death's icy grasp - not even a man of science, who can supposedly stop the tick-tock of time with the power of his mind. World-weary Logan (Jackman) lives under his birth name, James Howlett, in a tumbledown ranch in the desert, where he cares for ailing Professor Xavier (Stewart) aided by albino tracker Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Logan's abilities as Wolverine are waning - pus oozes from his knuckles when he retracts his Adamantium claws and his body no longer self-heals. He earns a meagre wage as a chauffeur to pay for medication to alleviate the Professor's violent psychic seizures, which paralyse humans and mutants alike within an ever-expanding radius. Out of the blue, a nurse called Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) contacts Logan and offers him 50,000 US dollars to drive a mysterious girl called Laura (Dafne Keen) to "a place up north" called Eden. The child is a vital link to a new generation of mutants and is being pursued by Transigen head surgeon Dr Zander Rice (Richard E Grant). Logan hits the road accompanied by Professor Xavier and Laura, with Transigen's thuggish head of security, Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), in hot pursuit. En route, Logan discovers secrets about his inglorious past and reluctantly takes on the role of the little girl's snarling protector. Logan strikes a contemplative tone, which sets it apart from the other standalone Wolverine films. Director Mangold and fellow scriptwriters Scott Frank and Michael Green relish the freedom to explore familiar characters with fresh eyes. They adopt a leisurely pace, closing one chapter of the X-Men mythology while potentially opening another. Strong performances from Jackman and Stewart, whose on-screen partnership began 17 years ago, coupled with a sparkling film debut for 11-year-old Keen, ensure a fitting send-off.