The “X-Men” series of movies has understandably made moviegoers with a biblical worldview nervous.
The films’ most fundamental premise, stated in the opening moments of the first film and most of the many sequels, is that human evolution has spawned a new and greater species of mutant humans with superpowers.
And if the overriding evolutionary themes didn’t make the faithful squirm, the casting of one of Hollywood’s most prominent homosexuals in a role where he speaks about second-class citizens and being proud of who you are, even if your parents’ generation rejects you, has led many to conclude the “X-Men” movies were just an allegory for “gay” pride.
Then, of course, you have the prominent character, Mystique, a woman who walks around completely nude, save for her shiny, blue body paint.
And to be fair, the evolutionary themes continue in the newest entry into the franchise in theaters now, “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” And once again, the blue Mystique is on display as much or more than ever.
The new movie also contains a line by that same prominent homosexual actor, declaring: “You have lived in the shadows too long – come out!”
But unlike previous “X-Men” films, that single quote is the extent of the homosexual allegory, and a bit thin at that.
In fact, “Days of Future Past” departs from the franchise’s more questionable storylines to present another significant theme instead, one that even conservative Christians can celebrate – the hope of redemption.
Then, there’s the reality this may just be the best film in the entire franchise.
Rather than dwelling on the origin stories of superheroes, epic battles, Wolverine’s crankiness, homosexual themes or sex appeal, “Days of Future Past” focuses on character development, dialogue and human conflict – all the stuff that takes even a spandex-filled film from mere entertainment to quality filmmaking.
The story takes fans to a dystopian future where technological marvels called Sentinels unleash a devastating war against all mutants everywhere. At the war’s bleakest hour, the remaining X-Men realize this path of history all began the day in 1973 when Mystique first used her powers to kill a human. The team of future X-Men resolve to go back into the past to stop Mystique and change the disastrous path of her actions.
It may be a bit convoluted, but it enables the filmmakers to bring together a fantastic cast that bridges the original “X-Men” actors with the “reboot” actors from “X-Men: First Class.”
The result is multiple Oscar-nominated and award-winning actors dealing with intense human drama, all wrapped up in the action of a superhero universe – one great recipe for an entertaining and fulfilling movie.
And for the most part, “Days of Future Past” pulls it off. Mostly.
As for worldview, the evolutionary theme is prominent, but it’s not the main point of the movie. And despite all the unbiblical elements swirling about, the clear message and story of the movie is all about hope and redemption.
Perhaps the movie’s most pivotal moment comes when the wizened, old Professor X states, “Just because someone stumbles, loses their way, it doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Sometimes, we all need a little help.”
The message of redemption is then played out, as the characters scramble to see Mystique redeemed from her wayward path.
And when the younger version of Professor X feels as though his superhuman abilities and responsibilities are too much to handle, he is reminded, “It’s the greatest gift of all, to bear their pain without breaking. And it’s born from the most human power – hope. We need you to hope again.”
Blue body suit and evolutionary gobbledygook aside, “Days of Future Past” is a movie that has grown up, grown deeper and is actually far more positive in its message than any of its “X-Men” predecessors.
- “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” rated PG-13, contains 27 profanities and obscenities, some strong.
- In one scene of the film, Wolverine wakes up in bed with a scantily clad woman, then he walks away, baring full rear male nudity. There are a few scenes of sexual innuendo, but the bulk of the film’s sexual content is the character Mystique, who is frequently seen fully nude, but with blue body paint and “scales” covering significant areas. Nonetheless, the shape of her body and breasts are clearly seen throughout the film.
- Comic book violence is intense in several scenes. Robots are destroyed and mutants are killed. Superheroes and villains engage in combat, choking, gunfights, explosions, tasering and more. Some wounds and gore are present.
- The film itself has no overt religious or occult content, though several scenes take place in a Chinese temple and there is a character with the name of “Bishop.” Strong evolutionary themes are present. In the after-credits scene, ancient Egyptians are seen chanting and worshipping a mutant whose powers build the pyramids.