Men: Dark Phoenix Review

Men: Dark Phoenix Review

It's not unreasonable to say that the modern superhero explosion would never have happened without 20th Century Fox's X-Men. One detail that particularly amuses me is the characters' ages.

The first adaptation was 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, which, while not flawless, earned a Rotten Tomatoes score of 58 percent.

Strictly script, because my character is a culmination of multiple characters in the X-Men universe and I couldn't just research her through the comics. Much as it might be fun in theory to see Hugh Jackman's Wolverine/Logan or Sophie Turner's Phoenix/Jean Grey interact with the new generation of Marvel Cinematic Universe superheroes, the logistics of cramming them together would nearly certainly be more trouble than their worth. She's taken in by Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) who offers her help and guidance and tells her that she can decide to use her powers for good, which is not exactly top of mind for her when, 17 years later, she absorbs a deadly cosmic energy field. The film centers on Sophie Turner's Jean Grey, whom we see first in a flashback to the day her parents died, as she fiddled with the auto radio with her mind and accidentally triggered a fatal accident.


Turner is not entirely at fault for the scattered focus of Dark Phoenix - the film's obligation to pay lip service to its First Class member while retreading Xavier and Magneto's (Michael Fassbender, predictably somber) age-old conflict - which Erik does hilariously comment on - spreads the film thin. Thankfully, they were both in a great mood and willing to play along. The previous films all revolved around their rivalry, and no other villain ever measures up to Magneto. Instead, series producer Simon Kinberg writes and directs another take on the seminal "Dark Phoenix" plot, where psychic Jean Grey (Turner) becomes possessed of world-threatening powers.

In Dark Phoenix, the weight of the film is placed on legacy. Those tears weren't shed for character deaths, but for a depiction of how easily human society can turn on mutantkind. We see young Jean Grey with her parents and the bad tragedy that separates them. Some, like Xavier, strive for mainstream acceptance, while others reject the mere concept of integration.

Although not the trainwreck some may have feared given its mostly lackluster trailers, Dark Phoenix nevertheless brings the long-running X-Men franchise to a close in a messy and muddled fashion. Overall perhaps, Dark Phoenix is slightly better than The Last Stand, but in its eagerness to do justice to the Dark Phoenix saga and the franchise as a whole, it feels more sparse, lacking memorable moments and a strong central protagonist. In 1975, when Claremont took over writing Uncanny X-Men, the series had just been rebooted after a five-year hiatus due to poor sales. Jean just wasn't old enough to deal with that yet. And you won't like her when she's angry.


"You're always sorry. There's always a speech".

In a one-star review, The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin said: "It's hard not to wonder where the wit and glamour of 2011's X-Men: First Class disappeared to, and why this franchise chose to trade uproariously period-specific ensemble capers for lugubrious soap-operatics". As a outcome, Jean Grey, now one of the most formidable mutants on Earth, is a threat to the entire planet that the rest of the mutantkind have to destroy.

I suppose Storm was also sort of a goddess. There's an overwhelming sense of the franchise losing momentum, with Kinberg not even bothering to include fun '90s costumes and music choices like earlier films did for the 1960s and '80s. "If you break something I can fix it".


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