The movie was pretty decent and I liked some of the themes of it. The ethics were interesting too -- is it ethical to strip your opponent of a power that forms the core of his or her identity? Is a mutant so wrapped up in their power that his or her sense of self disappears once s/he no longer has that power? Is it ethical to bind a being who does not behave as you wish instead of allowing them to learn how to control him- or herself on their own and allowing that being to have free-will and a genuine choice about what behavior occurs? Is it right to allow someone to mutilate him- or herself (as by giving up their mutant powers) simply so they can fit in better to a society that has little or no appreciation of the benefits of their unique gifts? Is it better to conform or to truly be oneself?
These are some of the thoughts that passed through my head as I watched Rogue, Jean Grey, Charles Xavier and Magneto. The final two scenes, before and after the credits, gave me quite a lot of food for thought.
Watching Ian McKellan was heartbreaking -- he brought so much into his performance. He's always been one of my favorite actors, but here he brought a great deal of subtlety to the character, enriching the audience's experience by showing the vulnerable underbelly to a character written mostly as a cardboard cartoon -- McKellan's performance added a vital third dimension.
The final, post-credit scene was especially interesting because of the ethics of it, alluded to earlier in the movie. It made me think once more of my assertation that ethics in the real world are largely situational -- everything depends on whose ox is being gored. Even supposedly ethical people will do incredibly unethical things if it is in their own best interests, when push comes to shove -- selfishness and self-centeredness power most humans, even the ones most people consider "good". Those that choose to do what is right instead of what is easy, especially if they personally will suffer for it, are few and far between.
Altruism is not a survival trait.