(This is X-Men: Dark Phoenix film review, which is the last installation to the Fox’s X-Men series)
X-Men sure has come a long way when the first instalment was released in 2000, that was 19 years ago! And Dark Phoenix is the 12th and also the final movie in this series which is produced by 20th Century Fox, since the whole franchise has been bought back by Marvel and Disney earlier this year.
Take note that the characters and cast are from the X-Men First Class, and thus you will not see older actors from the first three instalments of the series. It is directed by Simon Kinberg and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the review for the final film in X-Men: Dark Phoenix film review below!
The X-Men are sent to space to rescue a spaceship that goes haywire due to an unknown solar flare. Things start to go awry until Jean Grey absorbs the solar flare unwillingly and they return back to Earth. However, she soon realises that her power is getting uncontrollable and is starting to hurt the people around her. At the same time, an unknown alien species plans to take Jean’s power for themselves. What could the X-Men do to save her and the world?
X-Men: Dark Phoenix Film Review
The film does not really continue off straight from the previous film, Apocalypse, but rather 9 years after that event. We are introduced to Jean Grey’s childhood and the story mostly focuses on her finding out about her past and trying to control her power.
It feels like the story kills her just to induce some emotion
To be fair, it follows the common superhero story with some slight twist. We are shown the reason why Jean is protected by Xavier through his power, and she has the reason to be angry. However, the premise fails to give a more prominent reason for her anger. Straight off, the premise just goes its way to achieve one goal: to end the story of the past 20 years instalments.
We can see how the film just kills off one of our favourite characters in a very anti-climatic way. Unlike Black Widow which dies through a noble sacrifice, the Raven part is a bit sudden and not dramatic at all. It feels like the story kills her just to induce some emotion. The same goes to the ending which is so cliché and anti-climatic as well. I actually walked out feeling some parts are rushed and not as fun to watch. as compared to X-Men First Class, Logan or even the Apocalypse.
Pacing is just alright, but very monotonous. So we are shown some quiet, emotional and fighting moments, but things just felt stale. There are no standards of Infinity War where things move fast with interesting premise or some parts are dramatic enough to catch your attention. Here, the pacing is to make the film ends on a not so rushed, yet not so slow style, without any big changes in between to lit it up.
Oh boy, normally the characters take the centre stage in the X-Men series, and this film somehow still retains that factor. However, the characters now seem to feel weak in developments and character growth. Starting off from Jean Grey, she gains a new power but her character becomes unstable. She just suddenly attacks people for no reason, and the changes is too drastic.
She is basically killing off people because she can’t control it, but yet some scenes show that she enjoys it? Dunno man, but her portrayal here is weird. As for the rest of the characters such as Professor Xavier, the film tries to show a different part of him, especially when dealing with the humans and governments. But he doesn’t really do much in this film other than the use of his power.
I don’t feel his badassness and personality as compared to the First Class or Apocalypse. Same goes to Storm, Cyclop and Quicksilver, all of them are underplayed, especially Quicksilver. At least Beast gets some screentime and Magneto appears too. But Magneto changes his mind a bit too fast, even though knowing his personality, he should have gone for the kill.
Lastly, the antagonist is weak. Not in strength, but in portrayal. We are shown that they suffer from the Phoenix due to it destroying their hometown. But now they become full bad guys and kill people for no reason other than to blend in to steal back the power from Jean Grey. There are no cool scenes of the bad guy with real motive behind their actions.
The soundtrack is just decent and will not help the film at all. It follows the traditional superhero style of music which induces tension but that’s it. Without a good premise or characters, the soundtrack itself will not help to save a bad film.