Cover Artwork by Mykel Kumar. Let’s have a look at what happens in the film Logan down to the details and explain things out – Logan Movie Explained. But let’s take a moment’s pause before that. This is it. This is the last of the movies that will feature Hugh Jackman playing the role that made him – Wolverine. After a 17 year run, it comes down to this film to end the X-Men series with the stars who first signed up. Of course, you will only see Patrick Stewart back as Professor X and none of the other X-Men. The movie is set decades after the end sequence of Days of Future Past (when Wolverine wakes up in a universe with everyone alive – Jean, Scott, etc). The school is gone, the X-Men are gone, the movie is set in a time where the world has changed a lot from how we remember the X-Men movie universe. So go watch the last of the saga and read further. Spoiler Alert!
I’m splitting it up into two sections. Pick the Quick Version (scroll to the bottom) or the Detailed Version or both based on how much time you’ve got.
Logan Plot Explanation – Detailed Version
Let’s start with the most pressing questions:
Why is Logan / Wolverine old and weak?
Wolverine is practically immortal right? He heals from everything. Heck, he can’t even get drunk because his brain cells recover too quick. So, then, what happened? Remember the Adamantium that they put inside him back in the Weapon X program? It made him extremely powerful, impervious to most attacks and helped him slice through practically anything. But guess what, the metal inside him continuously poisons him. If it weren’t for his amazing healing power he would have died a long time ago. The movie is set in 2029, many decades have passed. The Adamantium in him has taken its toll. His healing is limited and as a result he has aged. He can also get drunk so he has a drinking habit now. He was once Wolverine, he’s Logan now.
No more mutants?
It’s been 25 years since there has been the birth of a mutant. While Logan seems to think that mutants were a temporary mistake of nature, the reality is far from it. There was once a doctor who was part of the Weapon X program that put the Adamantium in Logan. The son of that doctor is Dr. Zander Rice. Dr. Rice is introduced as the man who ended the mutant species. Through food additives, he has been able to suppress the mutant “X gene”. This is why there has been no new mutants that have taken birth.
What’s with Professor X?
What would happen if the most powerful mind in the world got a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s? Well that is what happened to Professor X. We don’t know why he got this disease. Perhaps the consumption of the said “food additives” may have triggered something or it was just how things turned out for him. Same story for Wolverine. Perhaps the Adamantium alone has been poisoning him or it is the added effect of the food supplements. We don’t know this. It’s just speculation. As a result of Professor X’s condition, he has seizures that send out an powerful uncontrolled telepathic wave that paralyzes people around him. And if not stopped, it could kill the person caught in it. Professor X needs a medical serum to snap him out of his seizure. He is also on medication to keep his brain under check.
What happened to the X-Men?
Well, it’s not made specifically clear. But looks like Professor X killed many of them and wounded a lot more. YES, you read that right. The news talks about a Westchester Incident. Westchester is where the Xavier’s school was located. The news mentions how in this Incident a mass paralytic attack left 600 people injured and about 7 killed. Those were the inhabitants of the school. Professor X’s degenerated state of mind made him the greatest threat to the X-Men. We’re not told who was killed. But we know that the X-Men have disbanded. Soon after this incident, professor X’s mind was deemed a weapon of mass destruction and an arrest was called for. Logan (who is least affected thanks to his healing) escapes with the professor to Mexico and has him kept in an abandoned smelting plant. Here they live in hiding with the professor under medication.
Who is Caliban?
He appears briefly in Apocalypse. He’s the man at the underground club who’s helping move around mutants. His power is the ability to sense and track other mutants. Sunlight hurts him. It is hinted in the film Logan that Caliban helped locate many mutants for the mercenary group. The captured mutants were then killed and used for DNA splicing. Eventually (he grows a conscience), he stops and meets Wolverine and decides to help him, to do the right thing. The two of them now keep a low profile and keep the professor safe.
What is Alkali Transigen?
Alkali lake is where the events of X2 takes place. That is where Stryker was executing his plans to kill all the mutants on the planet. But the movie Days of Future Past created an alternate world where the events of X2 did not happen. eg: Jean did not die at Alkali lake. In this alternate universe, Alkali Transigen seems to be the company that strives to rid the world of mutants. It is not shown to have Stryker’s involvement though. Dr. Zander Rice works in this company. Now that they have suppressed the X-gene, they are genetically growing mutants using the DNA of dead mutants. The plan is to create an army of super soldiers. They try and train rage into the children. But are unsuccessful as their basic human nature doesn’t allow for rage to be the only emotion. So Dr. Rice is working on X-24 which is a being of pure rage cloned from the DNA of Wolverine. Donald Pierce is the head of the mercenaries working for Alkali Transigen. Pierce belongs to a group called the Reavers who are cyborgs and are the muscle for Alkali Transigen.
Who is that little girl Laura / X-23?
Laura is one of the genetically engineered mutant children based on the DNA of Wolverine. While her entire body doesn’t have Adamantium like Wolverine, she has retractable Adamantium claws and foot knives. Her mutant ability is healing, just like Wolverine. Logan is not her father as such, but since she is created from his DNA, she is referred to as his daughter.
Who is Gabriela?
Gabriela worked as a nurse at Alkali Transigen and finds out the true nature of the work that happens there. She understands it is all illegal operations and involves growing and experimenting on mutant children and decides to go rogue and makes a video of what happens inside the company. Gabriela then sets the mutant children free and leaves with Laura. The two of them get separated from the rest. They plan to meet at a set of coordinates at North Dakota. From there they plan on crossing over to Canada to go to a place called Eden (which has more mutants). There, the children would be safe.
Now that we have the prerequisite understanding in place, we can breeze through the movie. The film starts with Logan gutting up a bunch of guys who try to carjack his limo. He kills most of them and leaves the scene. They show him buying meds for professor X who is now kept in Mexico. Caliban helps Logan with professor X. They don’t have enough money to get the required dosage for professor X. As a result, there is an incident of a seizure and Logan manages to inject the serum into the professor to stop it. Professor X tries to explain that he’s been making contact with someone. He mentions Liberty. Logan believes the professor is confused and is recollecting the moments from the first film (at the Statue of Liberty).
Logan plans to leave with the professor to the middle of the ocean where they can hide and not be a danger to others. He tries to bargain for a boat but is unable to. He needs more money. Gabriela reaches out to Logan when he’s at a funeral with a customer. She identifies him as Wolverine. He asks her to leave him alone. We see her driving away in a car with Laura in the back. Later, Pierce walks into his limo and introduces himself. He has identified Logan to be Wolverine and ties the dead carjackers back to his car. He tells Logan to call him soon as Gabriela makes contact. Gabriela reaches out to Logan again. This time at the Liberty Motel. This is what the professor was referring to. Gabriela offers Logan money. Logan agrees. She gives him $20K and says he can have another $30K when they reach the destination.
When Logan goes back the next morning, Gabriela is dead (Pierce has shot her). There is no sign of Laura. Logan heads back. Laura sneaks a ride back without him knowing. Pierce shows up demanding for the girl. A metal pipe hits Pierce, knocking him unconscious. Caliban and Logan glance to see Laura (she’s just thrown the pipe). Caliban takes Pierce to dump him but gets caught by a fleet of Reavers. A fight breaks out where Logan is. After a brief bloodbath, Logan, the professor and Laura escape onto the other side of a moving train. Pierce tortures Caliban into helping him track Laura. The trio check into a casino hotel. Logan notices the X-Men comic that Laura is carrying. Nice touch. The X-Men are heroes who have their own comics even in the film world. Logan leaves the professor and Laura in the room and heads to stash the limo.
What is Eden, is it real?
Logan stops for a drink when he pulls out the X-Men comic that Laura was carrying. He notices that the coordinates Gabriela has given are from this comic book. This means that there is actually no Eden, it was made up by Gabriela based on the comic. While Eden is not a sanctuary as shown in the comic, it is revealed in the end that the other children have assembled to head there. And the leader Rictor is seen talking on a radio with the other side confirming their arrival. So, looks like Gabriela has smartly picked the coordinates from a comic to plan the children’s escape. Eden is real, but not like it is depicted in the book.
Logan buys another car and returns. The hotel is full of mercenaries. Suddenly there is a wave of psychic energy. Professor is having a seizure. While the rest of the hotel is paralyzed, Logan manages to get to the room, kill the assailants and with the help of Laura, injects the serum into the professor. They make a run for it. As they are driving away, the news on the radio is reporting about the incident at the casino and also talks about the Westchester incident. Logan turns off the radio. This is the incident about the Xavier’s School. On the highway, one of the automated trucks pushes them off track along with another cargo van. The cargo van has a family transporting their horses. The professor helps bring back the horses with his mind and Logan helps them get their van out of the ditch. In return, the family offers dinner. They have a good dinner.
The neighbouring ranch has a water hose busted and the leak leaves the family without tap water. Logan and Will break into the ranch and fix the water leak. The owner shows up and waves his gun around. Logan beats him up and they run away. Meanwhile, the Reavers locate them using Caliban. This time they have brought with them X-24. X-24 walks into the professor’s room when he’s repenting what he did to the X-Men. The professor is stabbed in the heart and Laura is captured. The inhabitants of the house are all killed. When Logan and the Will return, Will gets clawed but is not killed. The ranch gang picks a fine time to pick up a fight with X-24 thinking it is Logan and get their asses killed. Logan tries to save the professor but he dies due to the stab wound. Caliban is in the van and picks up grenades in the confusion and blows himself up with the van and Reavers. Pierce escapes though. Logan attacks X-24 but is shredded. Will drives X-24 in to a metallic projection and shoots him in the head. He also wants to shoot Logan and does so but is out of bullets. Will dies of his wounds. Logan gets Laura and the professor’s body and leaves. They stop and bury the professor. Logan is emotional and angry. He exerts himself and faints. Laura gets him to a hospital in a stolen truck. The doctor is a nice guy who respects mutants. Logan doesn’t want more trouble and he leaves. Laura wants Logan to take her to the coordinates, Logan tries to explain the coordinates are fictional and don’t exist. Laura is persistent so Logan agrees to prove to her that there is nothing in those coordinates. Logan begins to drive, is exhausted and falls asleep. Laura drives the rest of the way to the coordinates.
When Logan awakens, he notices Laura with a whole bunch of children. Still exhausted, he faints again. They hoist him up and nurse him for two days. When he’s awake again, he realizes that the coordinates do exist. Logan doesn’t want the money and says he’s done his job. Laura wants him to join, he doesn’t want to go. Logan also explains the Adamantium bullet that he carries with him. Because one of these days he was planning to end it by blowing his head off with it. The next morning, Logan wakes up to a green serum that has been left for him to heal. The note reads don’t use it all at once. Logan notices that the Reavers have reached and are going for the children. Logan goes in to help. He uses the serum on himself, all at once, this momentarily gives him back his full agility and healing powers and is able to protect Laura. But the effects soon wear off.
Logan asks Laura to go around and wait for the signal. He says she will know the signal (later revealed to be a gunshot). Pierce introduces Dr. Rice as the man who is responsible for the extinction of the mutant kind. Dr. Rice explains what he’s done. Logan responds by shooting him in the face and goes after Pierce. Laura attacks the Reavers from behind and frees the other kids. Pierce unleashes X-24 on Logan. The rest of the kids take down Pierce and kill him along with the other Reavers. Logan is unable to defend himself against X-24 and gets impaled onto a tree. Just as X-24 is about to finish off Logan, Laura shoots and kills X-24 with the Adamantium bullet.
How come X-24 dies from an Adamantium bullet but Wolverine didn’t?
That’s because Wolverine is awesome. On a serious note, X-24 is a good effort at a genetic clone of Wolverine. While they’ve been successful at a stable clone, X-24 is still a clone and is not a perfect replica of Wolverine. The healing is simply not good enough. We also don’t know the process they followed to bind Adamantium to X-24. The engineered mutant simply doesn’t match up to the original homosuperior.
Logan is fatally wounded and his regenerative powers are not going to help him this time. Logan breathes a sigh of relief and dies as Laura cries besides him calling him daddy. “This is what it feels like” is what Logan says in the end. He’s referring to death with someone besides him that cares. The children bury Logan’s body and leave. Laura picks up the cross on Logan’s grave and rotates it to make it an X. She sheds another tear and joins the children to cross the border. The saga ends. The lack of an end credit scene drove the point home that this was the end. Sigh.
The way the movies have been ended, it appears that no matter what path the world takes, no matter what decisions the X-Men make, it always ends with them perishing. If things remained as they were (world before Days of Future Past), the sentinels would have been created to kill all the mutant species and eventually the X-Men. They change that event and it leads to Dr. Rice destroying the X-gene and eventually the X-Men. But in this reality, there are still a group of genetically engineered mutants who are going to unite with another set of mutant survivors. Alkali Transigen has lost Dr. Rice but will find another person who will pursue their mission. The fight for mutant survival will continue on but this marks the end for X-Men saga.
Film Plot Explanation In Short
It’s the year 2029. The X-Men are no more. The world hasn’t seen new mutants being born for 25 years. Logan, Caliban and Professor X stay in an abandoned plant across the Mexico border. Caliban has the ability to track other mutants. Logan is aging and is not healing like before because of the metal Adamantium in him. It’s been poisoning him. Professor X has aged and has been having seizures which makes him lose control of his telepathic powers. The seizure has a fatally paralytic effect on people in the area. Logan and Caliban have been administering the professor with a serum and medicines that keeps his mind under control.
Dr. Zander Rice, at Alkali Transigen, is creating mutant children from DNA of dead mutants. He has also cloned Wolverine to create X-24, a being of pure rage. They are trying to build an army of super soldiers. Gabriela, a nurse from Transigen, has set the mutants free and escaped with a mutant child named Laura. Laura has been created from Wolverine’s DNA and has Adamantium claws and foot blades. Gabriela is trying to get Laura across the borders to Canada from North Dakota. Donald Pierce, is a mercenary working for Alkali Transigen, meets Logan asking for Gabriela. Later, Gabriela convinces Logan to help her and offers money. He accepts. Next day Gabriela is dead and Laura sneaks back with Logan. Pierce finds Logan and demands for the girl. A fight begins. Laura draws her claws out and begins killing. Logan helps and escapes with Professor X and Laura. Pierce takes Caliban as prisoner and uses him to track the trio.
The chase continues till the end of the film. Through the chase, X-24 kills Professor-X. Caliban blows himself up to save Logan. The climax is at the border. Laura unites with the other genetically engineered mutants. The mercenaries arrive and capture the kids. Logan fights a good fight to save them. Logan kills Dr. Rice, X-24 is unleashed on Logan, the kids kill Pierce. X-24 impales Logan on a tree fatally wounding him. Laura shoots X-24’s head off with an Adamantium bullet that Logan gives her early on. The children are free to cross the border to Canada. Wolverine dies. They bury him and carry forward.