Dark Phoenix

Directed by Simon Kinberg

Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Ty Sheridan, and Jessica Chastain

Backstory

X-Men truly is the granddaddy of superhero film franchises. The film historians will tell you that the entire dominance of superhero films began with the first X-Men back in 2000. And 19 years later, we have the end. With Disney’s recent buyout of Fox, the movie rights to X-Men are heading back to Marvel and they’ll soon be re-joining the Avengers. Dark Phoenix truly is the end of a chapter, and what better way to end than with one of X-Men‘s biggest and most famous story lines? Can they pull it off?

Plot

It’s ten years since X-Men: Apocalypse, which now places this in the 1990s. The X-Men have become beloved superheroes worldwide. It appears that Charles Xavier’s goal of using the X-Men to demonstrate that mutants are not to be feared has come true…but some worry that the fame is starting to go to Charles’s head. The X-Men are called in to rescue a doomed space shuttle, and they succeed, but in doing so, Jean Grey is pushed to her limits. She starts exhibiting strange cosmic powers that she can barely control, and before you know it, she’s inadvertently hurting those she loves. No longer trusting herself or Charles Xavier, she goes on the run. But who will get to her first? The X-Men, those who seek to destroy her, or aliens who covet this cosmic power for themselves? And what dark secret is Xavier hiding from Jean? Will it destroy the X-Men?

What I Liked

Well, the opening space rescue sequence certainly is a great scene. McAvoy and Fassbender continue doing top-notch work as Xavier and Magneto.

What I Didn’t Like

Well, with our newer, younger X-Men just being crammed in in the last film, we barely get a chance to know them, so it’s tough to feel for Jean Grey and what she’s going through. The plot seems fairly routine. The entire thing just feels surprisingly…small. It’s a lot like the first X-Men film. If you’ve gone back and watched the first X-Men, and compared it to what we’ve gotten in superhero films, you’ll be amazed at how small it is. Same with Dark Phoenix. Given weighty themes and cosmic entities and invading aliens, it could have been — should have been — much bigger.

Final Verdict

Mild disappointment in the whole affair. For a grand finale to the whole franchise, Dark Phoenix sadly came off rather bland.

2 Nibs