X-Men III (and a bit of I and II)

What Is It?

This is the third installment of the comic book movie series that revived the comic book genre in theaters. The X-men are people who have the Mutant X gene and thus have varying ranges of powers (oddly akin to Greek gods and heroes). An overly-conservative society has labeled these scary people a threat. With the world against them, two factions build up. The first is lead by Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) – an actor who will never get the respect he deserves because he pours his talent into Sci-Fi.) Professor X believes that the people of the earth are to co-exist and take care of each other. He runs a school for the “gifted” where he teaches mutants how to use their power wisely and be productive members of the world. The other faction is lead by Magneto (Shakespearean actor Ian McKellen), a mutant who has survived a Nazi concentration camp. Seeing current mutant opposition as the next wave of racial cleansing, he rebels in the other direction, planning to unite mutants to take over and crush the humans.

The first movie opened the story with Logan ( Hugh Jackman), nicknamed Wolverine, one of the most popular comic book characters greatly in part to his bad attitude and retractable blade claws. The plot revolves around his discovery of the school for mutants and his own place in the mutant community – a place without the option of neutrality. In the second installment, X-Men United, legislation is brought about to stop the mutants while a small military faction comes up with a plausible plan to destroy them all. This leaves both factions with the choice to work together or die apart.

Here, in number three, society is starting to accept mutant-kind. But a research firm has come up with a “cure” for the Mutant X gene. When the military decides to use it as a weapon to defend themselves against mutants, Magneto finds the fodder for propaganda. Translating the horrors of Nazi Germany into the current situation, he rallies the disfranchised mutants to destroy the less desirable sub-species so that they can live in peace and their evolution can continue.

How Was It?

It was big, bad, brutal, and entertaining. With all that, it was also the worst of the series. This seems to be a transitional movie, with the importance resting on realigning the factions and killing off (or radically changing) characters. (I am usually impressed by stories gutsy enough to kill off major characters, but in a comic book world where everyone can come back… who cares?)

The other films were deeper and more fun. Here you get Wolverine mowing down hundreds of random mutants, and though that’s kind of cool, it’s not as fascinating as watching him square off again Sabertooth or Mystique. I really wanted to see a good one-on-one battle between two bizarre people with weird powers. In a nutshell – Body Count: Way Up; Action Excitement: Down.

The other problem with the film was that you really didn’t get to know anyone. Reportedly Halle Berry , who plays Storm, wanted to leave because her character didn’t progress. Here they keep her by saying “We can’t give you a raise, but we can give you a title!” Kelsey Grammer was a brilliant choice to play the Beast, but instead of developing him, they just tell you it’s a Kelsey Grammer character (refined taste, suits, high brow job) who happens to be a big blue mutant. Wolverine is still learning the same lesson about team work vs. vigilantism that he had to learn in the last two films, and it’s starting to seem like a ritual formality.

Furthermore more there are no plans that I know of for an X-men 4, but Hugh Jackman’s production company (who did this film) has managed to hire Hugh Jackman for the upcoming film “Wolverine“. (There is also a “Magneto” movie in the works for next year, thus moving the movies the way of the comic books and giving the team their own individual stories.)

I think this movie will be liked by fans and acquire new ones. Despite that, though, it reminded me of the gifted child who gets a B+ on a project. Sure, it’s not bad, but it’s definitely not living up to its potential.

Is It Good For Kids?

This movie is very violent, even compared to the others. There are also 3 cuss words are said as insults to others and were “cool” because they were cuss words. In other words, I think it would encourage kids to say them. Then there was the almost sex scene between Wolverine and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). and (spoiler) when Mystique ( Rebecca Romijn) is shot with the “mutant cure.” She WAS a naked blue lady with scales for a bikini. After being cured she is lying naked and human on the floor with just enough of the fetal position to prevent an R rating. Amy said that it went on for far longer then necessary to get the point across.

I also saw something good for kids that I haven’t seen in the other two (or any other film for that matter). As Wolverine and Jean started at each other, a mom with two boys (under 4th grade is my guess) left the theater, and didn’t come back. If you know the woman who took her boys to see the beginning of X-men in Concord , pass along my congratulations.

You can check Screenit.com so you know if you would want to leave before you go.

-or before you rent X-men or X2

What About Spiritual Issues?

The first movie had the conservative uptight congressman saying that God hated the perversion of mutants and Magneto explaining that God is love, and thus couldn’t hate anything.

The second included a Catholic character that apparently missed the day they discussed Jesus sacrifice on the cross in CCD, because he gave himself tattoo/branding marks every time he sinned to make amends for it.

And in each installment, especially this one, evolution is the key to it all. The people are mutating or evolving (depending on your view of it). In this film Magneto reaffirms that we are evolving into gods. This is a common evolutionally idea, that homo-sapiens are the “transitional species” between monkeys and gods.

The other issue is homosexuality. (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) There are no openly gay characters in the X-men movies. Still, it has been a popular comic book of people who believe they were born different and society should just accept it.

In the second movie they had a scene where Ice Man (Shawn Ashmore ) has to “come out of the closet” to his parents… about being a mutant. There is nothing as blatant in this film, but there is a lot of rhetoric for the homosexual community to hang their hat on. The unfortunate thing about this link is two fold. One, the fictional mutations shown in the x-Men movies are always helpful to the mutated (though in nature mutations always debilitate) where homosexuality is forbidden by God because it will hurt you and your loved ones, regardless of the world’s acceptance of you. Secondly, it reinforces that anyone who thinks its “bad” is a bigot who hates you. It does not leave any room for the biblical model of love – wanting to help people who are in destructive sinful lifestyles because it will hurt them. Once again we miss the point of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. He thought your sin (including homosexuality) was hell worthy; therefore, out of love for you, he died on the cross to pay for your sins so you could have a relationship with him. It’s so sad to see this struggle for acceptance at the cost of perfect love.

What is your Recommendation?

If you are thinking about it for your kids, as with all the modern comic  book movies, I would be very careful. They are designed for adults knowing the kids are locked in anyway.

Outside of that, it is what it is. The X-men are there, you get to meet new mutants and be hit with their philosophies

If you do go, stay for the credits and remember Professor X’s class. Also, Look for X-Men creator Stan Lee, he does cameo’s in all the movies based on his characters. (See what he looks like here.)

I think the irony of all this was that many churches were thrilled to see this movie push the DaVinci Code out of the top spot, while this series has philosophies equally destructive to faith – but is presented in a way that will not get peoples guard up.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “X-Men III (and a bit of I and II)”

  1. Frank Peretti’s The Visitation « Questionentertainment’s Weblog Says:

    […] Winter made a lot of money when he produced the critically acclaimed X-Men Movies, and more money when he produced the critically disdained Fantastic Four movies. After X-men, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: