While it is blatantly obvious that the back stories of both Magneto is that of a Jewish (perhaps even a Polish) chap and that his anger stems from the fact that he is twice the descendant of a persecuted lot: first the holocaust,where in a bleak atmospheric setting we see him witnessing the march of his parents toward their own deaths, Second he is a mutant subject to the senator's rants and near persecution. One wonders if such allusions to historical facts is an intended and integral part of the screenwriter's attempt to touch upon real issues of discrimination and genocide. And if so, to what end. At the time of this writing the franchise has progressed well now into the 5th installation. Yet the leaps in time and constant revisions away from the comic books themselves invite ignorance and Ignorance should be allowed as these questions arise from one who has only seen the first and the last episodes.
Like the above referenced back story of Eric / Magneto, a back story learned in the first episode of X-men, we also learn that Logan / Wolverine's metallic skeleton. Back flashes show him being operated upon by a team of surgeons . Was he an escapee from military operation much like Jason Bourne? Given the popularity of Wolverine and Jackman portrayal of him, one wonders why Huge Jackman fit the part so well. Kudos to the casting. Logan as character has such a peculiar disposition to authority. A disposition that echos not only an attitude held by long standing fans of comic books but so many disillusioned modern day voters/viewers in the audience.
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Nonetheless, Jackman looks like a natural renegade. He looks like a bass ass motorcyclist. Indeed in the movie, Logan steals Cyclops' bike: twice . As viewers we are encouraged to fear Logan. The screenwriters create tension even as they write from the perspective of any marginalized person. They do not dedicate much time to sympathize with the powers that be. In fact the senator (representing the government) becomes a victim subjected to the very prescription he wishes to impose on the mutants. Yet what drives Logan as the anti-hero? Logan's temperament renders him as unpredictable as those hapless victims used as sleeper cells. He seems driven by some outside controlling force.
Sleeper cells act against their will. They were forced to serve the interest of Russian during the cold war. (see the 1977 spy thriller TELEFON). And what of the others students of Professor Charles Xavier's school, do they all have back stories based on some passage in world history? Do they have character flaws that reflect the common man? Masked vigilantes are are often common men. Proof again that commoners are the choose stuff for heroes of comic books fans .
In first first few minutes of the X-MEN we move from the concentration camp where were introduced to a young Magneto to a very interesting scene in the current time.
Here we meet Marie / Rouge we are dropped into what appears to be the south. If the the golden patina used to depict the light flowing into Rough's room were not enough, we immediately detect she has a southern accent. Being a girl teen along in her bedroom with a boy only reinforces the angst soon to follow. But why is she southern? Perhaps her back story is that of the discrimination against southerners who “talk funny”.
Suffice to say, since all X-MEN have special powers and those powers are both a blessing and a curse, here we learn of the curse. Maria's power to rob anyone she touches of their life force means she can never be 'deflowered'. Her predicament mimics that of Claudia from INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE. You recall Claudia? The role played by Kirsten Dunst as a young vampire who was turned while she was still per-pubescent. In that pitiful state she could never win (though she tried incessantly)the affection of Louis played by Brad Pitt. In like manner we are introduced to Rouge/Marie one verge of her puberty, white girl alone in her bead room with guy, screams after their attempted first kiss. Thus we are now have a character who can never know carnal knowledge. Now that’s a sympathy back story. Not to mention we have to watch to her pine over Wolverine.
As the movie X-MEN progresses we learn a bit about Cyclops and how his glasses came about, we learn that Dr. Xavier and Magneto were good friends. I suppose their back story is rather difficult to work in. One is left to assume they are closer than most genius. Ian McKellen once remarked that, as a gay man he felt an affinity for a role as a mutant forced to face the prejudices of a world . In the two disk DVD set X-MEN 1.5 we learn that STORM comes from Kenya where she inadvertently brought ruin to her village.
Therein her race as a woman of color is brought to bear on her character's plight. These anecdote serve to illustrate how much thought the script writers (David Hayter & Tom Desanto) must have put into their efforts to create a movie that viewers would leave the theater not only talking about but thinking as well. Fans of the sage would not learn of the back story of other X-MEN such as Raven / Mystique until [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942).
Perhaps back stories mesh into plots and they become aspects one learns with an episode.The back stories of the first X-MEN gave life to the movie beyond the screen. To be such a young director (X-MEN was only Bryan Singer's third feature film) the he and his screenwriters went beyond making a comic book movie. They created a franchise that are among the touchstone of the comic book media and myth making.
But what do you think? Did the character' backstories add to the richness of this movie? And how much are you looking forward to [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267)?