Full disclosure. I have not seen a single X-Men film until Dark Phoenix. However, I did enjoy this film until it’s anti-climatic ending for a variety of reasons. But, before, I go there…
The year is 1975. Glen Campbell’s ‘Gentle on My Mind’ is playing on the radio while a young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and her family embark on what is about to become a fatal road trip. Cut to 1992. The Space Shuttle Endeavor is rescued from a catastrophic space mission by the X-Men, where Jean takes on the impact of what are to believed to be solar flares. All of this activity has an enormous impact on Jean, who has now become the greatest force in the galaxy. Just like with people of different ethnicity, what people don’t understand they fear and what they fear they seek to destroy. Jean is mentally fragile while being flooded with disjointed memories from her past. This takes her already uncontrollable power to an all new high of rage mixed with pain. Everyone wants something from her, but she doesn’t know what she wants for herself. Finally, she realizes that all she desires is to protect her family of X-Men.
There’s lots of things I loved. Dialogue like “Women are alway saving men around here” and “…might as well change name to X-Women.’ Pure Comedy and true for this installment which mainly keeps it focus on Grey, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jessica Chastain (Vuk). Loved that the police enforcements had MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) badges on their uniforms. Loved the similarities between Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Phoenix as they both rise from the ashes to avenge those they love. Don’t get me wrong, I love that Jessica Chastain was a villain, but I couldn’t get past the weird feeling of her being very reminiscent to Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange. Loved the lessons of not judging a book by its cover, which is how Jean ends up with Xavier (James McAvoy) as a young girl and how the mutants fight to be recognized as good forces. Loved seeing all the X-Men as their younger selves including Storm (played by Alexandra Shipp looking very close to Halle Berry). Is there a pre-requisite for superheroes to be fine? I’m just saying James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and Tye Sheridan are kinda yummy. The fight scenes were all spectacularly convincing, but that ending.
Now, I have to say part of my apprehension and Scooby-Doo vibes about the ending mostly stem from the fact that the night I screened the film our theatre was evacuated 10 minutes before the end. I eventually saw the end, which felt very weak compared to the rest of the film and frankly compared with most of the films I have seen within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nevertheless, it won’t stop me from exclaiming my joy at watching women superheroes kicking butt and taking names. Produced by 20th Century Fox and Directed by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix swoops into theaters TODAY!!!