x-men: dark phoenix
DIRECTOR: simon kinberg (debut)
starring: sophie turner, james mcavoy, Michael fassbender, and jessica chastain
REVIEWER: lyall carter
During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain.
In light of the glut of superhero movies hitting the silver screen this year, X-Men: Dark Phoenix had kind of slipped off my radar. Not because I'm not a fan - I love the X-Men film franchise and still think Logan is one of the best superhero films ever made. I guess the character of Jean Grey has never really grabbed me and after hearing that the whole third act was reshot I was expecting the worst. I couldn't have been more wrong.
During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all. Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The mutants that we’ve come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet - one of their own.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is the culmination of all ten X-Men films (if you included the Deadpool films that would be twelve) that first kicked off nearly twenty years ago. Narratively it follows a very familiar superhero film structure with a whole lot of kick ass action set pieces thrown in for good measure. The third act is not as troublesome as I was expecting and surprisingly (in light of all the re-shoots and rewrites) makes a lot of sense.
But unfortunately X-Men: Dark Phoenix doesn't go out with the spectacular bang it deserves. Its no way near the worst film of the franchise; X-Men 3. But its no X-Men 2. Its just somewhere in the middle - a highly entertaining ride but a little bit forgettable. The film doesn't have that many light or comedic moments and traipses over the same themes from a few films ago.
Sophie Turner is good as Jean Grey and hits every emotional note that the script demands of her. Jessica Chastain, however, isn't really that memorable as the villain mainly due to the character not being that well developed. McAvoy and Fassbender are great as the Professor X and Magneto respectively and their send off is worth the admission price alone.
An entertaining yet kinda forgettable ride, X-Men: Dark Phoenix doesn't quite go out with the bang the franchise deserves.