A Mediocre End To The X-Men Franchise: Dark Phoenix
Nerdbot Reviews : X-Men Dark Phoenix
After a decade of X-men Films, 20th Century Fox’s long standing team of mutants are here for one last adventure
This is the last X-men film to be produced by the 20th Century Fox before the studios acquisition by Disney. While you can credit the rise of the wave of Superhero Films to the earlier films produced by fox, the monopolization of said genre by the aforementioned mouse house has all but made the film history of the mutants forgettable.
The premise of Dark Phoenix is this ; While on a rescue mission in space, X-man Jean Grey is hit with cosmic rays imbuing her with fantastical abilities. These powers soon become uncontrollable as she hurts her friends and is manipulated by an alien race seeking to use her power for their own.
What this last film needs to accomplish is this : It needs to finish strong, give a respectful send off to the characters involved as well as remind the studios and audience what makes this team special. This is all subjective, but when observing the film as a whole, one singular thought was brought to mind.
The beginning is fun but as it the film progresses it feels rushed with an ending that feels like the middle. Sophie Turner does a fine job as Jean Grey, with the other characters ranging from boring to great. The locations and set designs are basic, a basic backdrop that is defined by what is done there rather than the location itself.
While the future of the x-men is unclear, this bland ending of the Fox Controlled Franchise feels more like the ending of a chapter rather than a series. And perhaps that feeling is one that will give the X-men fans hope that their heroes will return to the screen sooner rather than later.
Spoilers Start here :
The first 15 minutes are really fun where we get more insight into jean, a character that we need to get to know first in order to care about her. The portrayal of the public relations the X-men have with the world as superheroes was so great to see. In all mediums the relationship between the team and world has always been tumultuous, so seeing them get praised ( even if it doesn’t last) was great. Any times the team worked together to pull off some combo moves was really visually exciting to watch.
The film relies a lot on the past films and the inferred connections they’ve made during their years of working together, in order to remove any bonding time to get straight into the story. Although we don’t know much about half of the x-men and many of their traits seem to be one note, the lack of characterization doesn’t really impact the film. Sophie Turner does a great job here, really selling the mood swings, and the deep conflict that arises in the character.
The story feels oddly paced, and becomes more awkward as it progresses. The ending feels like the middle, as the tension rises and flatlines. The plot feels like it was an amalgamation of several ideas, none of which were fully realized. While this story is smaller ( compared to the last two movies) they don’t use their time in order to really sell the audience on the dramatic narrative they are trying to sell. An example of this being how they present ideas such as the alien race, jeans access of her powers in Apocalypse and the Xaviers hubris, but don’t hammer the ideas home. Theres alot of questions left to be asked after all is said and done. The film has the audience do a lot of the work, and make a lot of assumptions so that they don’t have to explain themselves. The aliens were never properly defined, and their onenote evilness was uninteresting. Although Jennifers Lawrences Role as mystique was good, although her death serving as motivation for many of the male characters was a disservice to the character and seemed a waste of the character.
Whether or not we’ll get a new Main X-men Film soon is unknown, but the legacy of these films will stand as proud as they can. As the fans of the series will keep their heads up, and look to the future to see what Marvel/Disney has in store for this franchise.
What’s your opinion on the film ? Love it or hate it ?! Let us know in the comments down below !