Dark Phoenix Review: Not a Complete Dumpster Fire but still a Fire.

two stars
I was not anticipating Dark Phoenix. 
With the lackluster trailers, which spoil the film, and the numerous stories about production problems and reshoots, it seemed that the second attempt to adapt the X-Men’s Phoenix Saga was not going to work.
Sadly, this did prove to be the case because Dark Phoenix, directed by Simon Kinberg, is definitely one of the weakest X-Men films.
However, I will say that the movie is not as terrible as I thought it was going to be.
There are some redeeming qualities about it.
For starters, all of the actors do a good job with what they are given, especially Sophie Turner as Jean Grey.
I believe she could have done a fantastic job if the story had been good.

Jean Grey.jpg
Sophie Turner does a good job as the corrupted Jean Grey, and could have been fantastic had the script made her more than a pawn. 

Then there is the action, which serves as some mindless entertainment.
Even though the final action sequence does have some atrocious CGI, it is still enjoyable to watch.
Dark Phoenix also starts out pretty promising.
For the first twenty minutes I was actually liking it.
Sure, it was not amazing or anything, but I felt like it would not be that bad.
And then the aliens showed up.
Lead by Jessica Chastain’s Vuk, these discount Skrulls should not have been in the movie.
Not only are they boring and uninteresting but the main threat of this story should have been Jean.
One of the big reasons many people find the Phoenix storyline so engaging is because the X-Men are forced to fight one of their own.
Yet, somehow, both this film, and The Last Stand, have Jean simply being a pawn for a bigger villain.

Jessica Chastain.jpg
The aliens should not have been in Dark Phoenix. People want to see the Phoenix Force being the main threat, not it being manipulated… again. 

I wish I could say these aliens are the only bad things about Dark Phoenix but they are not.
While I did like the opening twenty minutes, there is one thing I absolutely hated there that persisted for most of the film.
This being the absolute character assassination of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy).
He acts nothing like the Xavier from the previous films, coming across as a complete narcissist, even after one of his close friends dies.
I get this was a part of his character arc but it does not work at all, considering how unlikable he is during the first hour and a half.

Charles Xavier resident asshole.jpg
Did a Skrull take over Charles Xavier? Well, one might as well have because this is not the Xavier we saw in the other films. 

It is also obvious that there were reshoots done because sections the film feels different from the rest of it, creating a jumbled experience.
The cinematography is also just bland, with no interesting shots to speak of.
Dark Phoenix is a mess.
It has some redeeming qualities like the performances, a few decent action sequences, and the first twenty minutes.
Other than these features though, the film falls flat on its face.
There have been two attempts at adapting this story and both have failed.
Hopefully, the third time will be the charm if Marvel decides to reboot the X-Men franchise.
In any case Dark Phoenix is a forgettable film that ends the X-Men series on a less than memorable note.

One thought on “Dark Phoenix Review: Not a Complete Dumpster Fire but still a Fire.

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