Monday, May 4, 2009

X-Men Origens: Wolverine! (or becoming the animal within)

I saw Wolverine today, and I have been wracking my brains to figure out what was good enough to write about it, 'cause it struck me as having less plot than a Capcomm video game. I'm writing this just as I returned from teaching Romans, chapter one at DuPage County jail, and it hit me that there was something redeeming to learn from this movie after all.

In the movie, James Logan, aka Wolverine, is constantly being told by his half-brother Victor Creed he should not deny what he is -an animal.

What we know intuitively is that Victor is simply a murdering psychopath, and his intent is to not let Logan leave him -they have been brothers for 160 years for crying out loud! They've been through war after war after war together -he can't leave!

So Victor appeals to this 'brothers in arms' even as Logan rejects their lifestyle of "find some action, go killing, laugh and snarl as 'mere mortals' strike back!"

The film is uneven and functions as just part of the serial drama of the Marvel universe. Sad, because I really like both principals. There is no build-up for many decisions or subtleties in how certain emotional arcs are played out. But for all that, our hero, Logan does decide to stop hanging around with the really bad guys because they kill a bunch of innocents one night in Africa.

He doesn't want to be a beast anymore.

Now this could have been a great story of redemption that almost happened, etc. A real Hamlet tragedy. It doesn't come close - sorry. Now, fanboys got what they wanted - i.e. nice imagery, cool action, respect for source material - but the discerning viewer ends up going "I think this was a LOT of money for a very shallow story..." but it did have one redeeming feature:

It points out the depravity of man when he has no fear of God, of death and judgment. And it just so happens, I taught on how God judges men when they refuse to honor Him. Let me tell you, Paul doesn't mince words on where you should put your faith (hint: Jesus) and just how damnably depraved and ruthless a human being gets who refuses to worship God; we end up worshiping all sorts of other things that are awful. As I said in the jail: "Guys, you were designed to worship something greater than yourself. If it ain't God, then its going to be family, or drugs, or a lover or your nation or sports or whatever!"

The rationalist worships reason, the naturalist nature. It is inevitable. We must be part of something, Someone greater than us - for we ARE fallen and helpless and mortal.

In Romans 1, Paul blasts the sexual perversion he sees around him in the Roman Empire and connects this depravity to an intentional refusal to acknowledge God as Creator or to thank Him for all He has done for mankind.

Romans 1:21-32
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

God wants to save us from evil, but if we refuse to listen, do you know what He does?

He "gives you over" to your baser instincts. He turns you into Victor Creed. He literally stops restraining you and lets you run rampant. Like Nebuchednezzar becoming a beast after his proud boasting in the book of Daniel, He leaves you to become less and less human -and humane.

In my experience, wickedness supports wickedness, applauding and approving it. And if you don't applaud, they will come after you, snarling and growling.

So you want to leave evil behind? Live a humane life? Get ready, bub and make sure your skeleton is laced with adamantium.

You really didn't think you could just leave without a fight, did you?

p.s. Wanna see this movie? Trust me: matinee only. It won't hurt as much. Here's a spot-on review on how fanboys are causing this type of drek to be produced:


FUG said...

You state that everyone must worship something. What is worship?

Justice said...

In brief, worship is when we give our time, effort and energy in surrender to a person or object greater than ourselves. They trump our reason with their very existence and we unhesitatingly agree this is proper, good, right and necessary for meaning in life.

They/It are the greater; we are the lesser.

Sadly, we often worship people, ideals, nature, and a host of other created things instead of God. When we do so, we harm ourselves and others.


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