Well, that was somber, wasn't it? When the end credits came, at first I hoped there'd be a post-credit scene with Logan clawing his way out of the grave, but of course after a minute I realized that it would undermine the rest of the movie and ruin all the thematic development. And at heart I love stories about aging and death and grief, even when they rip me into sad little shreds.
Nevertheless: oh no not Logan! oh no not Charles! *sobs* I found Charles's illness and death especially painful, both for personal reasons (his mental/psychic deterioration recalled my mother's dementia) and because, well, Charles. Yes, he was sometimes a dick and thought he knew best even when he definitely didn't, but . . . Charles. I fear for those young mutants a bit--who's going to train them and help them grow up? I presume there are adult mutants in Canada, but Charles was such a central figure in mutant culture and mutant communities that I think his death will be a serious, ongoing loss.
My own answer to the burning question of "where the hell is Erik?" is that in this iteration of the multiverse, Erik has been dead for a long time. I'm not sure where this parts from the continuity of the original trilogy, but there was a reference I didn't entirely catch to the Statue of Liberty, so I'm assuming something went horribly wrong as a consequence of the X-Men failing to stop Erik's X1 plot to trigger mutations in everybody, killing Marie (and thus emotionally alienating Logan) and Erik (plunging Charles into a despair he never quite climbs out of) and causing no more natural mutants to be born. But I should note that I haven't seen the other Wolverine movies, and also I missed a few minutes of this one for a bathroom break, so there may easily be explanations for some of this that I missed.
What I've always liked about the X-Men movies is their fundamental seriousness, and Logan is about 2/3 quite serious and character-driven story and 1/3 extremely bloody violence. I could've done without quite so many decapitations and impalements, but I guess in a way it underlines the brutality of this world--a world that has for some time been without the X-Men. The movie is also disturbingly resonant with Trump's America, considering the thing must have been written and filmed long before the election. It's not hard to see a certain pointedness in a story about getting a whole bunch of Mexican-born refugee children across the border and then north, north, across another border into Canada. Though the film does make a point of telling us that the kids have been granted legal entry into Canada if they can get there.
I could have lived without seeing a whole black family wiped out as collateral damage to Logan's quest. I can understand the points being made, both about how this family embodied "traditional American values" much more than the racists who wanted to drive them out and about the unfettered corporate power and cruelty that ultimately killed them, but I think those points could have been made without three more dead black people onscreen. On the other hand, we did at least get to know them as people before they were killed, which is a small bit of compensation in storytelling terms, I guess.
The story pushed the "Charles is Logan's father figure" thing very hard, and I could sort of see it despite the fact that Logan is significantly older than Charles. But I still ship them. In this 'verse, my shipping them amounts to "they were lovers for a while, and then it faded out because Logan had commitment issues and Charles had Erik issues, but they never stopped loving each other in a complicated, sometimes tender, sometimes resentful way that did have elements of paternal/filial love, and of course Logan would turn up to spirit Charles away to safety when it became necessary." And then there's poor Caliban, whose relationship with Logan was strikingly . . . marital. Not a very happy marriage, but all that stuff about "I don't want to nag" and "I can't do this if we don't talk" and etc. etc., and the fact that Caliban had no earthly reason to be there if he didn't love one of them--and I didn't get the sense that it was Charles--adds up to "they are or were sleeping together" being the best explanation. (Was Caliban in the other Wolverine movies?)
Besides its many other good qualities, it's a movie that leaves plenty of scope for fic. *hopes* The absence of Erik may be helpful in this regard (and believe me, I bow to no one in my love for Erik Lehnsherr, so I don't say this lightly) because it'll leave no room for all the treacly, cutesy godawfulness that the pairing has become in most fanfic. I hope, anyway. *hopes, against all experience of the way fandom can produce the most trivial, sugary fics from the most unlikely sources*
Crossposted at Dreamwidth ( comments); you can comment here or there.