xmen 2Is Bryan Singer Christian or what? Both the X-Men movies highlight sacrificial love. The climax of X-Men had Wolverine giving his life to save Rogue. (He had to survive of course so that he could come back in X2.) The climax of X2 had Jean Gray giving her life to save her friends. Note: These acts of sacrificial love were not minor developments in the plot. They were in your face emotional climaxes meant to take your breath away.

What does this mean? Among other things, that X2 beats Matrix:Reloaded in my book. (Ok, Reloaded had it’s own example of sacrificial love but I don’t think it features as prominently. ) I know that X-Men purists have their problems with the movies. They can point out so many places where the movies divert from the comics. Hey, I have been reading X-Men comics from the beginning, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did virtually everything at Marvel.

Like the Lord of the Rings, I expect that it would be impossible to transfer all the details from one medium to another. I look to see if the movie captures the essential spirit of the originating medium.
I think the X-Men movies are close enough. Ok, I know many of you would like Wolverine to be stockier and shorter. But what characterizes Wolverine is the constant tension between his human side and his animal rage side. And the movie captures that well enough. And Nightcrawler was all I expected missing only the sulphur smell that was supposed to accompany his teleportations.

The only thing that bugs me is the Cyclops-Jean Grey match up. She looks way too old for him. And this is no ‘Mrs. Robinson’ scenario.
Christians would probably object to the genetic evolution basis of the movie. But Darwin’s theories no longer hold sway as they did in years past. One feels that the mutation theory is there mainly as an excuse to explain the special powers of the main protagonists.
The issues treated by the movie are human enough: *The fear and loathing of those different from you. *The fact that power can be used for both good and evil. *Teenagers fighting to be accepted for who they are. *The fact that life is defined by the moral choices we make. *The power of human love. (Girls, didn’t it make you go ahh…to hear Wolverine offer to be ‘good’ for Jean’s sake?)
But X2 clearly climaxes with Jean Gray’s supreme sacrifice. Genetic mutation may give rise to all sorts of incredible powers. But it’s love that wins the day.

Thing is, humankind does not need to evolve towards agape. If anything we have devolved down from agape love. Ever since Eden. Agape love had to re-enter human history through the Lamb that was slain. We do not need to mutate to be ‘sacrificial love-enabled’. What we need is a complete spiritual make over that only the Lamb that was slain can give.

Agape love has never been more needed. Suicide bombers, wars, cheating board directors, broken families…humankind doesn’t seem to have evolved very far. Where are the superheroes who will save us?
There are no superheroes. But there is a Saviour. And He has already come. And continues to offer the one thing that will save us. Agape love. Once in awhile Hollywood gets it right whether they mean to or not.

“We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us.” 1John 3:16a NLT

Your brother, Soo-Inn Tan