By CYNTHIA BIDDLECOMB
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” may fall into the same genre of superhero movies as “Spiderman 2”, which played last week here in town, but that is where any similarity between the two films ends.
Admittedly, this is an entertaining genre but my qualifications critiquing it are few. Like many people, I don’t have the backstory on these characters (especially Mystique, Beast, Quicksilver, Wolverine, even Professor X and Magneto) beyond what the film itself tells us.
Movie poster for ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’ Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater
That being said, where Spiderman 2 was a kids’ movie, X-Men: Days is more compelling for adults. There is a philosophical, may I say theological, or at least ethical line in the film encapsulated in Professor X’s statement, voiced twice (to be sure we get the point), “Just because someone stumbles and loses their way doesn’t mean they are lost forever.” X is referring to our penchant for holding a grudge against someone who has taken a turn with which we may not agree.
But there is something in life we might call “second chances”, or, theologically, “Grace,” giving the other person the benefit of the doubt.
Is it worth going back in time 50 years to convince both the young Professor X and the younger Magneto that one day in the future they will be on the same side again and that their future selves have sent Wolverine back in time to convince them that they must work together now, in 1973, so humanity in 2023 is not obliterated by giant robotic Sentinels? OK, so it is a bit of a stretch to get a moral out of this story.
But the film is entertaining. Like “American Hustle” we are transported to the early 1970s, the clothes, the music, the political figures. That alone is worth the price of admission. Besides, time travel to change an historical outcome is always a compelling concept.
I was disappointed, with the subtitle Days of Future Past, that the film’s musical score was not from the Moody Blues. It is, nonetheless, a good score, and you do get to hear “Stop in the Name of Love,” sung in French, but I digress.
One is led to wonder, as we watch this film, how do we mature in our philosophy, in our hope for humanity and for civilization, over 50 years of living our lives, from early adulthood to our mature years.
Once it is lost, can one regain a sense of hope, especially hope for humans to overcome the evil and mistrust in society? Can we still work to make the world a better place, learning to trust one another’s gifts and all of us doing our part? Along with Professor X, we truly hope so.