Saturday, 24 May 2014

X-Men: Days of Hours Past

X-Men: Days of Future and Die cast (erm...b'cos the casts die so many times it makes dying look really cool). 

I went to watch it last night and it was thoroughly entertaining. In my book, the stars of the movie are the perpetually pissed Wolf-man (Hugh Jackman), the eternally blue Smurfette with jaundiced eyes (Jennifer Lawrence), and the I-am-not-a-crook Richard Nixon. No joke...he was in fact the savior of the movie. He makes Watergate look like a mere parking ticket violation.

The young and chiseled face Magneto could have been in my book if he had not been so environmentally insensitive when he ripped apart the entire old Yankee stadium and elevated it as a protective high wall surrounding himself. It's an overkill and a waste of his powers. If he had done that to our new Kallang Stadium with its retractable roof, I am sure our government would not only lock him up for multiple life-sentences and whoop-ass him in an a-la Michael-Fay fashion with no clemency. Our government would also have sued and bankrupted him for every joules of energy left in him (I guess this is one client our indefatigable M Ravi would decline any legal representation).

But then, back to the story. It is really an old rehashing. There is nothing new here. I would not tell you the ending because it is so predictable. Ultimately, when they all grow old, they die...regardless of whether they are XY-Men or XX-Women (save for Hugh Jackman of course...that chappie could have his brain grounded into mince meat or curry powder and he would still wake up the next morning fully exposed and looking impeccable in the mirror...sorry insider's joke).

If you want to have a feel of the plot, think of Back to the Future where Marty McFly went back to the past to match-make his parents so as to ensure his future existence and then replace "parents" with the younger (no less predictable) version of Professor X and Magneto. It's really a marriage made in mind-bending hell. And combine that with the plot of Inception where layers after layers of your consciousness is torn apart in time-stopping wonderland and maybe mix it up with The Terminator Part II where the Arnie-like Wolverine return to the 70s to carry out a Chinese-New-Year-ish reunion of all the young X-men characters, in particular, Mystique, Beast and Toad.

All in all, I guess the plot-line differs little from the movie Austin Powers: The Spy who shagged me where Dr Evil invented a time machine and returned to the 60s to steal Austin Powers' mojo. Of course, the mojo here is really mystique whose amazing shape-shifting skills would downrightly put to shame most of our young brides clumsily performing under sweat and curses wardrobe changes between wedding dinner dishes.

But the really cool bit is one particular segment where quicksilver (think of a young flash with a planet-full of redundant testosterone to spare) broke into Pentagon to free Magneto. This is no spoiler because you’d just have to see for yourself the hilarious motion effects and how he realigned the objects in the room to his impish advantage.  Imagine a young steve jobs, an old tom jones and an underfed gremlin and you roughly get what I mean.

Jokes aside now, let’s dial into something more serious. It’s about the younger Charles (or Professor X). There was a part where he entered into a god-like sphere called Cerebro. It’s kind of like his own mini-Cineplex with a cool helmet and many fun buttons to press. The point about this part is not the searching and locating of humans and mutants. It is about how the young Charles overcame his own fears and pain caused by the screams and sufferings that tormented his mind when he surveyed and connected with the consciousness of the world. As their consciousness crossed, the old Charles advised the young Charles how he could draw strength and hope from the screams and sufferings of the world. He advised him to focus on the hope of humanity and not the dread.

To be honest, this part reminds me about God.  I can see him seated in a cerebro-like throne connecting to each and everyone of us.  He hears our pain and our screams. He knows intimately how we feel and how we are crying out for love, hope and peace. He occasionally makes his holographic appearances here and there to plant anonymous but serendipitous tips to nudge us in the right direction. He whispers into our ears words of encouragement and emboldens our hearts with little reminders of the hope he has planned for us. 

In the end, no matter how we feel, he knows our pain and is watching over us. So, in a sense, if the X in X’mas represents the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, then I guess the X in X-Men reminds us that we all belong to Christ in one suffering, one atonement, and one ultimate resurrection.

Okay, I have said enough. I will end here with a cliffhanger, sort of. If you’re observant enough, you will notice a segment of the movie where the young Magneto told the young Charles that he was locked up in the Pentagon not because he tried to kill President Kennedy. On the contrary, he was trying to bend the bullet away from the President to save him. But he was arrested before he could do so. His reason? Because he was one of us. Yes…apparently the beloved President Kennedy was a mutant (That actually explains a lot). I wonder what was his powers…mind-controlling rhetoric and charisma? If that’s the case, what does it make President Obama? A mutant? (That actually explains even more). Cheerz.


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