X Men: Days of Future Past



X-Men: Days of Future Past  has some continuity problems, but I enjoyed it. Good fight scenes. Good character development. Great casting.  The X-Men saga deals with themes like good and evil, control and power, and intentions and consequences. Days of Future Past provides a 20/20 hindsight on how these themes have played out in earlier X-Men movies. There was a lot going on in the plot that may be lost on those who haven’t seen at least some of the previous X-Men movies.

Time travel movies like this usually hinge on the idea that certain events drive change in history. A perfect storm of creativity, innovation, discovery, and technology bring about leaps in learning, communication, and industry such as the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and the Information Age. Perfect storms of ambition, animosity, and greed, along with natural disasters, have historically pushed nations, and at times the entire world, into war or economic depression. Days of Future Past brings us to that culminating moment in X-world when the government, reacting to the perceived threat they present, build big robots and send them out to kill all the mutants.

A genetic mutation alters human evolution and causes X-Men to possess a variety of powers, some very destructive. Certain powerful humans without this mutation fear mutants will follow the pattern of history and kill them off as humans killed off Neanderthals. Years of evildoing by Magneto and his crew fuels this theory.

An assassination in the 70’s  fuels the decision to build the robots. In the future, a humbler and wiser Magneto takes responsibility and works with his former nemesis Charles Xavier, who must have been only mostly dead at the end of X3, to figure out a way to fix the past. Wolverine is sent back to try and alter the event that Xavier and Magneto think is the impetus for the robots.

DOFP asks some of the same questions the Matrix and Terminator movies, and, my all time favorite fix-the-future movie, 12 Monkeys, ask. Is the future set? Can the past be changed? Can the future be changed by changing the past? Even if its possible to go back, is there a pivotal event that must be changed to change the outcome? How can that event be identified? How will changing this outcome alter everything that has happened up until this point? Imagine what today would be like if just one event or one powerful player in those events were altered.

Fixing the past resonates with most of us. Everybody has at least one moment we wish we could go back in time and redo. For most of us, the future of the world doesn’t depend on it, but we can imagine how our own lives would have been different if we could just tweak that one thing. The end of X-Men changed my perspective on all the previous  X-Men movies I’d seen.

Which resulted in some musings from a spiritual point of view. The death and resurrection of Christ is that pivot point for past, present, and future. His victory over sin and death changes everything for all time. While Jesus didn’t alter events of the past, He changes their meanings and contexts. Jesus is crucified before the foundation of the world, yet his earthly life took place in time and space. The events of Jesus’ death and resurrection alter the consequences of the rebellion of Lucifer, the fall of Adam and Eve, and the specific, individual ravages of sin, guilt, and even death on each person who believes in Him. How we tell our stories, even the parts that happened before we believed, are forever altered because of Jesus.


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