Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.
The signs were never good for ‘Dark Phoenix’ after more than a year in post-production and several reshoots on the back of poor test screenings, so it’s disappointing but not surprising that the end result is worse than ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, which itself was a step backwards for the series. The characters are moving back under Marvel’s wing after this film and this marks a disappointing end to a film series that started so strongly with ‘X-Men: First Class’, a film I’d rank as one of the best superhero films of all time. ‘Days of Future Past’ was pulpy fun that got what made the characters tick and wrapped it in a good story, but ‘Apocalypse’ started to falter and ‘Dark Phoenix’ is essentially a limp over the finish line.
This is a poorly plotted film with bad acting, a lot of which is phoned in from standouts in the earlier films such as Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender, who look like they’d rather be anywhere else but here. The story mostly centres on Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey after she took over the role from Famke Janssen last time around, and covers a popular arc in the comic books, but it never really amounts to much here. Turner’s hindered by a poor script but it also doesn’t help that she lacks the charisma or the ability to lead such a large ensemble and I found it hard to invest in her character arc. There are some cool action sequences, namely towards the end, but this is mediocre, standard superhero fare, with nothing to set itself apart from every other average superhero movie getting made right now.
‘Dark Phoenix’ is a forgettable conclusion to this iteration of the ‘X-Men’ and the actors and these characters deserved a better send off than what we’ve ended up with.
Directed By: Simon Kinberg
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Evan Peters