This Film Should be a Declaration of the Beautiful, Cataclysmic Forces within Strong Female Characters, but it Just Does the Opposite.- Dark Phoenix (2019) Review
I always find myself leaving an X-Men film uttering a bunch of "Ugh"s and "it could have been so much better if..." Well, Dark Phoenix could have been so much better if it had been developed better through well thought-out predecessors and so many other factors.
Dark Phoenix was exactly everything I expected it to be, and yet, I still found myself disappointed after the credits started to roll. It's supposed to follow one of the most notable story-lines of the X-men franchise- Jean Grey and the Phoenix force, yet no matter the adaptation, it is never fulfilled.
During a no-man-left-behind space mission, the X-men come face-to face with what is later known as the Phoenix Force. Because they are not able to make it out in time, Jean Grey is forced to fend off/absorb the force. After the "successful" mission, Jean Grey goes through transcendental changes, that put herself, all of her friends, and the entire world at risk.
On top of everything else, in what should be a film that shows the beautiful, yet cataclysmic, forces of power that reside within strong women like Jean, Storm and Mystique, the audience is shorted so much of just that. It could be a film that celebrates feminism and power, but instead all we get is one of the worst lines in movie history- "And by the way, the women are always saving the men around here, so you might want to think about changing the name to X-Women."
I completely understand the intent, but the execution was forced and ill-mannered. It was almost like the actors didn't want to be there anymore than the audience wanted to see it. Even Evan Peters disappeared 10 minutes into the film until the very end.
We do get some pretty awesome battle scenes in the movie that highlight Storm's potential, but other than that, the audience gets the usual, "watch-Magneto-lift-something-huge-once" part and close to nothing else but crying from Beast. I feel cheated, but at least there wasn't a forced Wolverine scene, used just for brownie points.
This story was wildly under developed, the characters had no real direction, and no ones story line was even somewhat interesting. The entire film relies solely on individual interactions with Jean and portraying Professor X as a clueless drunk. I don't actually blame this film alone for all of its follies. It didn't have much to follow up on with Apocalypse and First Class as its' previous material. When you try to put the 3 films together, it just doesn't work at all. It's sad to say but I just think the entire franchise needs to scrap up everything they have (again) and start all over.
Jacindable Rating- ★½
starring, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Sophie Turner, Michael Fassbender, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Evan Peters, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Scott Shepherd, and more
written and directed by, Simon Kinberg