X-Men: Days of Future Past: Review
This powerful new film sends a message about sticking with your friends.
It seems 2014 is the year of the superhero film – we’ve been graced with Cap and Spideyadventures in the last month alone. Now 20th Century Fox hit us with the latest instalment in the X-Men franchise.
To me, the X-Men films have been a mixed bag of hits and misses, and have suffered from missing the chronological building that the Marvel Universe films have done so well. X-Men and X2: X-Men United – both directed by Singer – set the standard for ensemble superhero films done well. However, The Last Stand was underwhelming, and the two Wolverine spin-offs had major problems. X-Men: First Class started something special, sharing the story of how Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr met amidst key historical events of the 1960s. Let it be said that if you haven’t seen any of these films, especially First Class, you’re going to have a rather hard time keeping up with new film Days of Future Past.
A successful step forward
This latest film in the series is truly magnificent. It has an ensemble cast of dizzying size and quality, a massive budget ($225 million!), skilful direction and choreography, and again centres around important world history – this time in the 1970s. For fans of the series, it’s an absolute joy to see characters of the original ensemble reappear, some which haven’t been seen since X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006.
The plot goes from past to future and is a little complicated ... but it works. My one criticism is that the action in the future is nowhere near as interesting as the past. I found myself yearning to get back to the 70s towards the end of the film. The future is bleak in more ways than one.
Future Past works hard to show us that these X-Men need to start working together to save the world. And because we head to the past, we hope that the future can be changed and evil characters like Erik/Magneto or Mystique can be redeemed.
Healing broken friendships
First Class introduced us to Charles and Erik and there we saw their original relationship. They were friends, or at least at peace with one another for the most part of the film. In Future Past, they have gone separate ways. They have been hurt by each other, their relationship is fractured, and there’s most certainly bitterness in the air. When Wolverine shows up and asks them to work together, both parties are hesitant. It isn’t only Charles and Erik that need to forgive each other, but reconciliation is required of many other relationships too. Even future Charles tells past Charles to forgive himself.
Christians need to stick together
This got me thinking about how we relate to each other as followers of Christ. When we have bitter hearts towards each other, it stops us from working together in the God-glorifying way that He wants us to. He calls us to forgive each other:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:12-13)
God has shown us incredible grace to save us and forgive us for our rebellion against him. And we’re called to show that same grace to others by forgiving them as we have been forgiven. This is a challenge, and often difficult to do, but God calls us to do it. And he can help us make the change.