In 2017, Fox released “Logan” starring Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine one last time. The film earned critical acclaim from critics, fans & movie goers alike, it also made a lot of revenue at the box office. In addition to critical acclaim, Logan later earned an Oscar nomination for “Best Adapted Screenplay.” After Logan’s release, Fox decided to develop another chapter in the X-Men series adapting “The Dark Phoenix Saga” for a second time like they did with “X-Men: The Last Stand,” but a more faithful retelling with Jean Grey as the central focus.
After Deadpool 2 was released earning positive reception & made a lot of money, Fox worked postponed “The New Mutants” due to reshoots, polishing the script, & canceling sequels after Disney ultimately purchased Fox. “Dark Phoenix” on the other hand, also had to undergo extensive reshoots for the final act after a poor test screening. The New Mutants is slated to come out in April, 2020. Dark Phoenix & the former upcoming films will be the last films produced by Fox until Disney reboots the entire franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (MCU for short)
Dark Phoenix is currently out in theaters worldwide. Unlike Logan, it received negative reviews from critics labeled as the worst X-Men film since “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” YIKES!
The following review contains gigantic SPOILERS. If you haven’t got a chance to see Dark Phoenix, read at your own risk. Is it one of the worst films in the X-Men series? Time to find out!
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicolas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Kodi-Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters & Jennifer Lawrence all did a good job for their respective performances.
Action Sequences were solid. My favorite part is the train scene.
Special Effects were decent. At least they didn’t look like Professor X & Magneto digitally de-aged from the opening scene of X-Men: The Last Stand.
The team’s outfits are taken from “New X-Men” comics.
This is the first time Bryan Singer is not attached as a producer, because of his “recent behavior.” If he was producing this film, it could’ve been Dakota Fanning’s “Hounddog” all over again. For those who haven’t seen Hounddog, you don’t wanna know.
Hans Zimmer orchestrated music for the film.
Dark Phoenix takes place in 1992. The exact same year “X-Men: The Animated Series” aired on Fox Kids. The cartoon was my first exposure to X-Men.
There’s no Post-Credits Scene which means you’re free to leave the theater. As we all know that Disney owns Fox and it’ll be a long time for the X-Men’s debut in the MCU.
Negative: Longtime X-Men producer Simon Kinberg did a poor job maintaining full responsibility as a writer, producer & director lacking a compelling plot.
I can’t believe I’m saying this over an X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix’s storyline is dull. A person sitting next to me feel asleep. Gonna have to Triple Down this con for telling a lackluster story.
Remember the climatic battle with Jean unleashing her Phoenix abilities against Apocalypse? It’s ignored in favor of a cosmic storm enhancing her powers much like in the comics. This Plot Hole broke my “Suspension Of Disbelief.”
Jessica Chastain’s performance as Vux felt boring. She lacked emotional investment. J.P. from “Grandma’s Boy” expressed his complex emotions speaking in a robotic tone!
Vux’s master plan to eradicate Earth & start anew is a rip-off of General Zod’s master plan from “Man Of Steel.” At least it tried to tell a compelling narrative.
Mystique is killed by Jean in the first act. Her death felt way too soon. She coulda had a dignified battle using all her skills & shapeshifting abilities to combat Jean or Vux.
To put salt in the wound. Nobody other than Professor X, Beast attended Mystique’s funeral. How many people attended Superman’s funeral? Millions!
Jean barely didn’t do anything evil besides killing Mystique. I wanted to see more of Jean’s dark side. Anakin Skywalker killed younglings, slaughtered Separatists, cut off Mace Windu’s hand & force choked Padme while she’s pregnant with Luke & Leia! That’s a lot of sinister coverage depicted in “Revenge Of The Sith!”
Quicksilver doesn’t have a bigger role. Professor X never selected him to stop his father Magneto from attempting to kill Jean or potentially lose his father.
While Magneto is preventing Jean from killing soldiers using a helicopter to mow em’ down, why did Magneto tell them to retreat using the exact same helicopter? He coulda told them to runaway on foot. When did this scene turned into a Looney Tunes cartoon?
Unlike previous installments, Professor X is an unsympathetic douchebag. He didn’t tell Jean Grey the truth about her parents’ fates. He scrambled her memories to hide the truth about her past. Why didn’t he tell Jean the truth before they went to X-Mansion?
Other than scrambling Jean’s memories, Professor X is portrayed as a narcissist. He’s not Tony Stark.
Beast is also an unsympathetic douchebag. He wants to murder Jean after she killed Mystique. Beast is not a ferocious killer, he’s an intellectual genius with muscles. If he was brainwashed I’d give it a pass.
Storm shoots ice cubes (not kidding) at an enemy. She has the power to strike lightning at her foes. Has anybody played the video game “X-Men Legends” & its sequel “Rise Of Apocalypse?”
Aliens & military are able to track down Jean’s whereabouts but Professor X couldn’t. Why didn’t the latter use satellite images on a regular computer rather than Cerebro? It’s called a back-up plan!
A bad guy has the power to use dreadlocks in combat. EGADS! This is Marvel’s “Inhumans” are over again!
Cyclops misses Magneto due to poor aiming. Is it me, or does that epic fail remind me of Igor (from Young Frankenstein) using laser eyes?
Professor X retires. What the flying fudge mcnugget was he doing prior to the events of the first two Deadpool movies & Logan? He had a cameo in Deadpool 2! It doesn’t make any gosh darn sense!
The timeline is inconsistent. In Logan, Professor X mentioned he was active in the X-Mansion before mutants were nearly extinct. Professor X & Magneto look younger, rather spotting wrinkles or Magneto having a silver fox hairdo as a man in his 50’s. Both guys were in their 60’s as depicted in the first X-Men film.
Cinematography suffered from a bad case of Shaky Cam. Seriously? Who’s in charge of filming, the Coca Puff mascot?
The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!
In my opinion, Dark Phoenix is the worst X-Men film I’ve ever seen sense X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The storyline was a lackluster snorefest, Professor X & Beast were completely out of character, underwhelming villains, no sense of likable characters besides Jean Grey & all the negative stuff listed on how bad it really is. If you want to see something better, I highly recommend “Avengers: Infinity War” & “Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.” If you want to see a proper adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga, I strongly recommend X-Men: The Animated Series’ five part storyline or watch X-Men: The Last Stand. At least it tried to show us Jean’s inner demons.
I hope Marvel & Disney do the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer & Galactus the respect they deserve.