Published: Wed, June 05, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Dark Phoenix Movie Review

Dark Phoenix Movie Review

It began slowly, with mutant hero Jean Grey seemingly sacrificing her life to save her fellow X-Men during a space mission gone wrong, only for Jean to be magically reborn as the almighty Phoenix. The X-Men are back with their new movie "Dark Phoenix".

-Do you remember in X-Men: Apocalypse when Jean Grey turned into a big fiery bird during the fight with Apocalypse?

"X-Men: Dark Pheonix" also stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Holt, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain.

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The X-Men film franchise has been long, constantly rebooted, and a little uneven. This follows directly on from X-Men: First Class (set in 1962), X-Men: Days of Future Past (set mainly in 1973) and X-Men: Apocalypse (set in 1983). The films have failed in different ways and to varying degrees, although somewhat surprisingly, one man was partly responsible for both: Simon Kinberg, who co-wrote The Last Stand and wrote, directed, and co-produced Dark Phoenix. Still, Dark Phoenix is not as much trainwreck as it is a slow-moving vehicle collision that ends up screeching to a halt right before it scratches the bumper in front of it. It requires building Jean Grey up into an endearing character so that when she goes dark, the audience feels the tragedy of that downfall. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable.

After a busy three-year stretch where she seemingly appeared in a new movie every other month, Jennifer Lawrence has only popped up in three films since 2016: mother! Unlike the CGI noise of many superhero third-acts today, there's a tactile, character-driven quality to these sequences that nearly salvage the film.

"If you know the Dark Phoenix story, you'd want to really service the love story between Logan and Jean", said Kinberg.

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