Strips away the spandex, the posse and the chaos, distilling the story down to the essence of the man, Logan. What's left is the agony and the ecstasy of mutanthood.
Jackman gives Logan a withering rage that seems heartfelt, not hammy; Stewart is touching in his enraged befuddlement; and Keen, who resembles here what Katie Holmes might look like if she were Carrie, has a feral intensity.
[Director] Mangold drags [Wolverine] - much older, if not much wiser - into a Western, and ends up with the best superhero movie in recent memory.
Jackman twists the pain at the centre of the hero's struggle into remarkably uncomfortable places for a blockbuster.
Jackman's performance is Clint Eastwood-esque, and the lines in Jackman's face tell the story of his worn character; he plays Wolverine as a man at the end of his line, adding at least a decade to his 48 years.
Logan was written by Scott Frank, Mr. Mangold and Michael Green. Their script is the crucial ingredient of this impressive production, a model of ambition, complexity and old-fashioned showmanship that's matched by Mr. Mangold's direction.
The only problem with calling it the boldest and most affecting superhero flick in many years is that it's barely a superhero movie at all.
The film celebrates the medium by taking itself seriously, with an added hint of apology for the genre's earlier sins. Best of all, there's an element of risk.
Logan is a family drama, an action thriller and an epic superhero story. If this is indeed Jackman's last Wolverine film, he's going out in heartfelt, high-class style.