The receipts are in, and Logan is a smash. It exceeded Fox’s box-office expectations, raking in a massive $241 million worldwide, in no small part due to excellent word of mouth. As our own David Edelstein put it, the film is designed to leave you ravaged, and therefore eager to discuss what you just saw with anyone and everyone who will listen. The key to that ravaging is arguably the final scene. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know why. Let’s discuss between sobs, shall we?
Major spoilers for Logan below.
So, yes: As you may have gathered, Logan concludes with the titular fur ball finally dead, after more than a century of tortured, bloody life. He falls in battle against his own clone, granted a few extra minutes of life by the quick intervention of his young protégé, Laura (who is, herself, another Wolvie clone). She shoots the evil Wolverine in the head with an adamantium bullet Logan had initially procured to commit suicide, then attends to her dying quasi father. “Don’t be what they made you,” he says to her in his dying whisper, before adding, “So this is what it feels like.” Is “it” referring to death or intimacy? We’ll never know, as he passes on to the big School for Gifted Mutants in the sky.
The closing scene finds Laura reading a eulogy for our departed anti-hero over a makeshift grave. Surrounded by fellow young mutants, she quotes a monologue from George Stevens’s 1953 Western, Shane, which she watched earlier in the film. “There’s no living with a killing,” she intones. “There’s no going back from it. Right or wrong, it’s a brand, a brand that sticks. There’s no going back. Now, you run on home to your mother and tell her, tell her everything’s alright, and there aren’t any more guns in the valley.” They all walk away, but before leaving the screen, Laura tips over the wooden cross so it becomes an X. You know, like the X-Men.
Some discussion questions:
1. Did you cry?
2. If so, which of those two scenes made you cry? Did it take the funeral to do it to you, or were you already a weeping mess when Wolvie bought the farm?
3. Had you cried already during the film? If so, when?
4. Was the X bit a little much for you, or did you think it was sweet?
5. Similarly, did you feel it was a little too on the nose to have Logan more or less literally do battle with himself?
6. What do you think happens next for Laura and the rest of the kids?
7. Do you want Laura to star in a Logan sequel, or should Fox leave well enough alone?
8. If you had been in charge of writing the death of Wolverine, how would you have depicted it?