I recently watched X-Men: Days of future past and I found it to be a movie that was perhaps more enjoyable to watch than the opposing marvel film Captain America: the Winter Soldier. However, I think X-Men gives a better glimpse into the past because it is at its core a story of redemption a movie that thus appeals to me as a Christian as a glimpse into the human soul and person.
Christianity is the story of how we as people were once lost but now found, blind but now see. From being at enmity with God we are redeemed and made into heirs of the Kingdom of God. Christianity is a story of redemption. So too is X-Men. The main premise of the movie is that the mistrust causes the coexistence of man and mutant to be impossible. Instead of tolerance, we find war and the movie begins with symbols and reminders of a holocaust in the form of the slaughter of mutants. This is the problem, a society where hate and violence have won over peace and tolerance, and this is what needs to be redeemed.
The topic of redemption is perhaps best seen in a scene where the young professor communes with his older self and the guilt and pain of the young professor is put away by the words of the old professor. In this moment the professor was redeemed. From fear and pain, the professor gains hope and resolution. Rather than being hurt by the thoughts and pain of others, he decides to bear such pain so that all might have hope. This is the first redemption, that of a man being transformed from someone who is nowhere near what he could be, into a paragon of hope and a beacon of light in a world that seems to be falling apart. The ending of the movie is also a second redemption. As we expect, the good triumphs over evil and society is changed (in a manner perhaps too good to be true) from one of mistrust to one of trust. And where there once was war, there is now peace. These are examples of redemption, and reminders of the ultimate redemption that we as Christians have found in Jesus Christ.
The movie places hope in people, in a common humanity. It carries the message that we as people, though we might be different, can live in peace, though that peace at times may be hard to keep or achieve. Perhaps this is the greatest lesson of all. Though we as Christians may believe that we as people are prone to wrong far more than we are to right, we should also strive to see each and every person with the inherent dignity and worth in each person. The movie is rife with speak of race especially from a young Magneto. And the thought of mutants among us calls back to the hidden nature of homosexuality in the 1970s. We as Christians should be the first to place hope in others to see beyond what people are now, to what they might or could be. Christians proclaim a gift, the gift of redemption, and so also we should strive to redeem others and treat others with the full dignity and worth of personhood.
X-Men, for the Christian, should be a film about redemption, a redemption of individuals, a redemption of society, and of a hope that we should have in those around us. The movie does have some failings in its treatment of morality (e.g. prison breaks) and some leaps of the imagination (such as the ending, and inconsistencies in the movie’s treatment of just how hidden mutants actually are) but I do not think that these things detract in a large manner from the film itself. If you watch X-Men look for the themes of redemption and individual worth, because as Christians we should truly be aware of how these relate to ourselves as people redeemed by Christ.