It's the end of an era. The king is dead, long live Wolverine. It's easy to get lost in histrionics, but comic book movies have lost their best asset in Hugh Jackman's performances as Logan. And a close second in Sir Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier.
But by God have they checked out in style.
Logan is the comic book movie purist Wolverine fans have been waiting for since he made his debut on the big screen. It might not be the purist adaptation (and it's certainly nothing like Old Man Logan), but it is the most pure expression of his character: broken, defined by violence, gnarled by guilt and ghosts. And it might well be the best movie of 2017 already.
Most will be easily happy to say it's Jackman's best stand-alone movie as Wolverine, but the big question here is how the other nine X-Men movies released to date rank alongside it. And it's not as clear cut as you might think.
No matter how much goodwill there is to Wolverine for teaching the world that there was space for a Ryan Reynolds-shaped Deadpool, there's not a great deal to love about the first (and only) X-Men Origins.
The opening sequence that sees Logan and his newly cast brother (Liev Shreiber, who is mostly as excellent as Reynolds, in all honesty) is great, but pretty much everything else is provocatively bad. There's not even kitsch value (aside from the ludicrous cameo by Kevin Durand's Blob), and pretty much every decision looks like a mistake in retrospect (especially casting Will i.Am and fatally sidelining Gambit).
Yes the Weapon X story was a good foundation, but it didn't go far enough, and the brief sequence in X-Men Apocalypse on the same subject makes this entire film look shoddy by comparison.
Unfortunately for Fox, the film was so badly received it partly killed the potential for the superior sounding X-Men Origins: Magneto. But at least we did get to see part of the Nazi-hunting plot at the start of First Class.