With the acqusition of Fox by Disney, this will likely be the last outing for this version of the Marvel’s most well known mutants, and unfortunately, XMen: Dark Phoenix, doesn’t deliver as a satisfying closer.
Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) reprises her role as Jean Grey, one of Professor Charles Xavier’s (James McAvoy) most gifted students. During a mission in space, Grey absorbs the cosmic “Phoenix Force” which makes her one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. Tragedy occurs after Grey loses control of the force and Xavier must race against Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to save Grey before they kill each other or she destroys the earth.
This is the second outing for the “Dark Phoenix” saga after 2006’s Xmen last stand which saw Famke Jansen as Grey, Patrick Stewart as Xavier, and Ian McKellen as Magneto.
It didn’t work then. It doesn’t work now.
The story just isn’t built for the big screen. We’re suppose to feel conflicted, but we don’t. It paints all of the characters in such a negative light, that we’re indifferent in how it all ends.
And there are some seriously misused acting heavyweights in this film too.
In addition to McAvoy and Fassbender (the MVP of this series), you have Academy Award winner, Jennifer Lawrence returning as Mystique, and Jessica Chastain as an alien who wants the Phoenix Force for herself.
The problem is that Lawrence doesn’t get any opportunities in the story to really work, and Chastain, who’s another one of the best actresses working today, plays an emotionless alien. Why cast Actors with this kind of talent, if you’re not going to use it?
One thing that does work and saves the film from being a complete loss is the action. Once it gets going, it doesn’t stop and there are some terrific sequences in Dark Phoenix but not enough to make it a good film.
And unfortunately, this isn’t the worst film in this series, that title goes to the dreadful X-Men: Apocalypse which is much worse than this film.
Despite the “New Class” X-Men with McAvoy and Fassbender only going .500 for the series, the excellent “Days of Future Past” does make me happy that we got to spend this time with the cast (and the last one as well) before it’s likely rebooted again by Disney. Watch that one instead.
Also no need to stay after the credits for this one.
Running time: 114 minutes