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‘Dark Phoenix’ is mediocre among the crowded sea of superhero movies

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The second to last Fox produced X-Men film struggles to match the spark of the original Dark Pheonix comic book storyline had. Die hard X-Men fans will still be able to enjoy their favorite mutants on the big screen.

The X-Men face their greatest threat when taking on one of their own, the Pheonix force imbued Jean Grey. Unable to control her powers, the X-Men attempt to save her, only for Grey to unleash her power, killing a vital part of the team.

The X-Men and Magneto’s newly Brotherhood clash on how to handle the Pheonix problem, all while Grey is being manipulated by a mysterious entity known as Vuk. It’s a straight forward story, though much different from the comic book Dark Pheonix storyline, taking liberties that don’t enhance the plot of the already celebrated story.

The film is carried by the performance of “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner, who researched mental illness in preparation for the role, specifically schizophrenia. She reprises the role after her first outing in the poorly received “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

Turner effortlessly portrays the trauma and conflict that Grey faces over the course of the film. From absorbing something thought of as a solar flare to learning that her Dad abandoned her because of the trouble her powers cause. Turner’s work as the once continuously tortured Sansa Stark definitely served her well.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique takes a back seat but still serves as an important part in the story. The relationship that Mystique has with Grey is nice to see, as they are two female characters who’s goal is to get the job done by whatever means necessary. It makes Mystique’s fate even more disturbing for Grey.

It’s good to see Lawrence move on from the role, though, as it was evident she had lost interest in playing the character. Her depiction of the character has been repeatedly criticized for being completely different than her comic book counterpart.

James McAvoy excels as Professor Xavier, as it finally feels like he’s come into his own as the character, as well as Michael Fassbender as Magento. They both do well as leaders on opposite sides of the fight.

Fan favorite X-Men Cyclops serve as the leader of the young recruits, holding on to hope that there’s good left in Jean. Storm and Nightcrawler aren’t given that much to do themselves, usually following Scott or emotionally supporting the other characters.

For a film that is supposed to have cosmic implications, it still feels very small, especially when inevitably compared to “Avengers: Endgame.” “Dark Pheonix” was originally scheduled to be release in November, rather than June and it’s obvious when watching. It’s tough to follow a story that’s been 10 years in the making when you’re telling a story that people have seen already.

There’s a very dark tone, almost comparable to Logan, but Logan’s story warranted such a melancholy tone. Hugh Jackman had been Wolverine for 17 years, and it’s definitely the last time we’re gonna see him as that iconic character. The general movie going audience doesn’t have the same attachment to these characters as they do Wolverine, and that’s the main problem with the film.

The two hour movie is fine and has its problem like any other, it’s just tough to care if you’re not a fan of the characters. Wait for it on streaming.

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My rating: Two and a half stars.

Featured image: Courtesy MovieFilms

Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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