Director: Simon Kinberg
Writer/s: John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, Simon Kinberg, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
Starring: James McAvoy, Sophie Turner, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Jessica Chastain, and more.
Oh boy… Well, here we go. Here I bring you the official Oberrated review on the final installment of Fox’s X-Men franchise, “Dark Phoenix”. This franchise’s last few films have surely not been bringing much to the table. From back and forth reviews, messed up timelines, and shoddy performances. Hopes are not high for “Dark Phoenix”, myself included. Without further ado, let us get on with it.
“Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.”
I reserved hope that I may actually still like “Dark Phoenix”. I mean, I liked Apocalypse so there was a chance, right? Wrong. Honestly, this is X-Men 3 all over again just done a little bit better. Bland story, bland villains, same war on self with Jean trying to figure herself out. Literally same story just different (and hardly better) cast. I kind of do not know how to expand on this without getting too spoiler heavy (which will be at the bottom of the review). Regardless, if you thought the film was going to be mediocre or bad, you are probably going to still think that after finishing the film. A forgettable and dull finale for a franchise that started so strong years and years ago.
Whoever’s idea it was to put so many bland and boring characters together on one screen needs to be re-evaluated for their position. I make this statement not on the perspective on the actors not doing a good job but more so on the fact that the characters themselves have zero charisma and appeal. Sure, the villains are aliens and should be as such. But between the aliens, Jean Grey, Cyclops, the always serious Charles Xavier, Mystique, and Storm, this is just an army of monotone and unemotional characters. Okay, maybe not so much Jean due to her emotional war with herself, but everyone else….sheesh.
I feel the dialogue in the film is a good follow-up to bland characters. So many lines in “Dark Phoenix” are downright eye rolling and cringe. The main villian, Vuk (Jessica Chastain) says some of the most cliche lines imaginable. Mystique is dull and unconvincing. I was afraid of her being a leader of the X-Women…I mean X-Men… in Apocalypse, in which I was delightfully impressed by her. Well it seems I was a movie early cause she assumes that role here and my fears of her being unconvincing then comes alive here. A Pg-13 F-bomb is dropped here and in the worst way possible. This was just an unconvincing batch of characters for a lackluster movie.
To finally praise some parts of the film, I start with the characters. Easily, as it has been in the past, Michael Fassbender is a master-class performer in my eyes. I have loved a number of his movies, including X-Men installments. Here in “Dark Phoenix” he puts forth a commendable performance but not nearly enough to save the film. Next to him, Sophie Turner does a good job with what is given to her. She is an emotional performer and does Jean well.
In regards to the story of the film. Although predictable (because c’mon, we have seen this before) the dramatic story line was interesting and enticing to me. Honestly, that is about all I could give it a positive note for regarding story.
“Dark Phoenix” really is just a dull and “there” kind of movie. Nothing is mind-blowing about it. Nothing had me sitting there thinking “Wow, I really want more of this”. Painful dialogue, an already done film, horrendous villains, forgetful and bland characters. This movie simply just does not have much going well for it. The silver-lining, I guess, is the fact we now have a Marvel Studios X-Men waiting in the future for us as this franchise has officially come to a close.
- The X-Men’s appearance in “Deadpool 2” was better than this whole movie
- “Get Out” running villains
- Nightcrawler has a show-stealing moment
- Quite possibly some of the worst villains I have seen in awhile.
- Fassbender and Jean are easily the top performers of the film.
- About 3/4ths of the way through, I just wanted it to end.
Rating: A VERY FORGIVING 5/10
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I’m gonna make this a quick bullet section cause I don’t want to spend too much time on this shit show.
- The drama between Charles Xavier’s choices to “protect” Jean and the fallout of the X-Men after this point is probably the strongest bit throughout the entire film. I greatly commend the dramatic story line that stresses family.
- The military vs. Jean Grey scene was painful. If she’s so smart, why couldn’t she just hide and let the military do their thing then leave? Oh I forgot, she is a bad guy and needs to kill everything cause “control” issues. K.
- The solar flare/phoenix energy: So it was drawn to Earth because it was attracted to Jean? Well why did it show up before the X-Men’s involvement? It’s just floating above Earth and NO ONE noticed it? Or it just appeared? Fuck this, whatever. Stupid.
- Magneto’s henchmen, Selene, getting thrown out of the train made me spit my drink out laughing.
- Again, Sophie’s emotional performance of a conflicted Jean Grey was commendable. Fassbender’s portrayal of Magneto is once again one of the best things of these films.
- Nightcrawler snapping (literally) and killing everyone in the train was one of my favorite moments. Show stealer.