That header sounds a bit posi aye?
Like it’s not, but I can’t help but merit the…”goodness” that X-Men: Dark Phoenix has in it.
It’s been 20 years since the X-Men “launched” the new superhero genre and heralded the impending Box Office might of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While the MCU grew from strength-to-strength, the X…Verse (?) kind of kept doubling down on the wrong things.
I mean, it’s not even really relatable to any character journey or power within their universe, because they’re all kind of good but this is just…a thing?
Anyway, a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts (waddup Age Of Ultron) and Dark Phoenix is the last of it.
During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean (Sophie Turner) 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 culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, the family of mutants that we’ve come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet…one of their own.
Oof, that’s a synopsis.
They really tried to settle into the “drama” of it all, which is something sorely missing in the film. I’m not saying there isn’t drama, but it’s not enough to produce any real stakes.
Whenever something “dramatic” occurs, it simply hands off to whatever intended plot point is next in-line and on we go.
This dramatisation is the X-Men family being TORN APART…by dramatic things undertaken by Professor X (James McAvoy) who is suddenly a smarmy man who wishes to have the lustre and celebrity the X-Men somehow now have. Magneto (FASSYPANTS!) is in “not-Genosha” and everyone else is kind of there making sure dramatic things happen.
There’s some fun lines where the X-Men dare to be funny and on the pulse, but overall the script is probably those tears in the rain that Roy Batty talks about.
Action set pieces are big and bombastic, and maybe some of the better ones the universe has seen. It’s almost like they’re a statement that they could’ve “done better” (but didn’t…).
Almost beat-for-beat a retelling of X-Men 3: The Last Stand, the saddest outcome of the end of this universe is that we won’t see some really great actors reprise their roles in future (don’t be surprised to see the MCU backburn the X-Men for a few years). Sophie Turner plays a really great Jean Grey, even with some shoddy material and rough background work.
Fassy and Maccy are always great, and much like Turner, it’s sad to see this partnership end.
It felt like I was trying to pad this review out, and maybe that’s a great analogy for Dark Phoenix. Some nice padding for the X-Men Universe, but not much else.
And there’s no rising out of the ashes for this one.
It came. It saw. It whimpered. X-Men: Dark Phoenix burns out much like the rest of its universe, but can hold its head high as not being the worst of it all.