Dark Phoenix

The 12th installment in the X-Men movie franchise first started in 2000 and a direct sequel to 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix is a remarkably bad superhero comic book film that is very predictable and full of dull moments in which the undoubtedly talented cast give rather lackluster performances. The movie follows the younger version of the X-Men from an alternate reality separate from the original X-Men movies headlined by Patrick Stewart and is set in the year 1992 when the X-Men mutants with extraordinary powers are sent on a rescue mission in space to save NASA astronauts. Primarily focused on the character Jean/Phoenix who has telekinetic powers and is played by Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones fame, the film delves deep into the circumstances of Jean finding herself among the X-Men and her transformation into a much more powerful mutant after being exposed to an extraterrestrial solar flare. She is joined by fellow X-Men led by Charles Xavier, played by Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy, Professor Xavier’s right-hand man Hank/Beast, played by Nicholas Hoult, one of the older X-Men Raven/Mystique, played by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, Jean’s love interest Scott/Cyclops, played by Tye Sheridan, as well as younger X-Men still learning. Jean becomes a danger to all of her friends as well as the rest of humanity when she absorbs the full power of what we later learn is a super powerful extraterrestrial being that an alien race of shapeshifters are looking for their own benefit. This is alien group is led by Vuk in the form of a female human, played by Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, who is hell-bent on harnessing Jean’s superpowers. Eventually, the X-Men team up with Charles Xavier’s arch-nemesis Erik/Magneto, played by Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender, whose powers are needed to save and protect Jean from her own power and the aliens who are hunting her down for it. The movie does have several very typical CGI action sequences in which the X-Men use their fantastical strengths, but the scenes in between are rather mundane and lacking in any real emotions for such a character-driven movie. Overall, I was truly surprised by how much of a misfire the movie was for being part of the highly popular superhero genre, and it felt like a truly unnecessary addition to the already expansive X-Men franchise.

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