Men: Dark Phoenix review: "Never quite rises high as we hoped"

James Mc Avoy

You can't keep a good X-Men down. or a bad one, really; 12 films into a almost two-decade-old franchise, Dark Phoenix rises from the ashes of 2016's silly, bloated X-Men: Apocalypse - not a free bird, exactly, but better than what came before. Professor X's hubris has been the Achilles' heel of this younger incarnation, and Dark Phoenix sees him fairly demonized for his past actions (but largely for the same reasons previously explored in The Last Stand). While in space, a force engulfs Jean Grey, making her the most powerful being in the universe.

Variety don't do stars but did say the film "attains a note of ominous majesty, thanks to Sophie Turner's presence as an X-Woman consumed by the awesomeness of her power". Also, it is hard to imagine that in a matter of a couple of years, James McAvoy's Professor X has to look like Patrick Stewart, for the first X-Men movie came out in the year that it was set in, viz. 2000. Kinberg, who wrote the third film in the original X-Men trilogy, The Last Stand, brings Dark Phoenix back to those character drama roots, scaling back the stakes and giving prominence to emotional beats and tense dialogue exchanges filmed in extreme close-up.

Her emotions will also be a factor in what Jean Grey will choose to do with her godlike powers.

Sadly, everything about Dark Phoenix just feels unnecessary - and it shows in the performances, as everyone just seems to be going through the motions, wondering how on Earth their contracts aren't up yet. With the exception of Deadpool, Hugh Jackman played the clawed mutant in every X-Men-related movie from 2000 to 2017, officially retiring from the role in Logan.

Marvel's mutants fizzle out in an incoherent action movie that should mark the end of two decades of "X-Men" machinations.

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In Dark Phoenix, the weight of the film is placed on legacy. The film will also feature the death of Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique. Upon her return to Earth, Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) notices something wrong when he screens her. Xavier attempts to read her mind, but is shut out forcefully. Anyone watching this film would most definitely have seen the previous Jean Grey story, so to expect audiences to be wowed by dramatic beats whose resolution they can see coming from a mile away is just silly.

So in the timeline that Dark Phoenix is set, Wolverine is still alive and roaming around in his Berserker Rage. We have listed below five major problems that the X-Men franchise has created for Dark Phoenix with its continuity issues. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together.

Fans of Chris Claremont and John Byrne will appreciate a beginning more inline with the Dark Phoenix comics origin story.

Dark Phoenix is the ninth film in the series of Marvel comic book films that is the seventh highest-grossing film series ever, having grossed over $5.7 billion worldwide. The sequel for this, X-Men: Days of Future Past, tied up the old and the new franchise with interesting results, and it turned out to be the biggest success story for the main canon.

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