Superheros – Weekend Edition – 04/27/2013

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“One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself…”

Mary Baker Eddy

(Science and Health, p. 340).

 

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Britain’s Prince William, right, and his brother Prince Harry look at a ‘Batsuit’ used in the Batman films as they and Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, not pictured, attend the inauguration of “Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden” near Watford, approximately 18 miles north west of central London, Friday, April 26, 2013. AP

 

X-Men/Superheros

Reviewed by Stephen Humphries, – South Africa(currently living in the U.S.)

From the January 1, 2000 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

* Article written before the The Dark Knight Trilogy  (2005, 2008, 2012) – the best superhero series ever.

 

Dressing an actor in boots, a cape, and spandex-tight clothing could destroy a movie director’s credibility forever. But Bryan Singer, director of the recent sci-fi hit X-Men, has created the best superhero movie since Superman by getting the tone of the movie just right. Sure, there’s violence and some dark edges characteristic of the genre, but this film has the heart that the Batman series lacked.

The story is about people born with a different set of genes, giving them superpowers—such as the ability to walk through walls, read people’s minds, conjure up storms, and or shoot lasers from their eyes. One of them even has the power to heal himself almost instantly of wounds and injuries. You might say that they’re a little different from the people you bump into in your neighborhood.

And that’s the problem. The rest of society is suspicious of these mutants, and wants the government to pass laws that will limit their freedom. One group of mutants, led by a character called Magneto (Sir Ian McKellan), resents humanity’s discrimination and wishes to turn the tables to transform the rest of humankind into mutants. The heroes of the movie are the X-Men, a group of good mutants led by Dr. Xavier (played with great presence by Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart). They band together to fight the rebel mutants. Their goal is to get the rest of humanity to understand and ultimately accept them.

This is a metaphor for racism, prejudice, and discrimination in society. The movie asks audiences to reassess people who are different from them. After seeing X-Men, I thought about how easy it is to form quick, snapshot judgements without even realizing it. In school it is all too easy to classify people who dress differently as belonging in different groups such as the cool people, the rebels, and the nerds.

Labeling people may seem an innocent, harmless thing to do, but it isn’t. The Bible tells us to “judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1).

When we’re judging others, we aren’t loving our neighbor as Jesus asked his followers to do. Instead, we’re too busy focusing on people’s “packaging” and thinking of others as a mixture of good and bad traits. We are able to love them when we realize that we are all His children. Our understanding of God helps us to stop judging others. “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself…” (Science and Health, p. 340).

Wolverine, the most dynamic character in the film, has a change of attitude that brings an element of hope. Initially, he exhibits little more than snarling feral rage. Eventually he learns to express fatherly care and tender affection for Rogue, a teenager who feels deeply unloved. These poignant scenes are, in their own way, as spellbinding as the action sequences in the film The Matrix.  If X-Men is a bit too short at 90 minutes, it’s still well worth watching.