After years of waiting, re-shoots and delays X-Men: Dark Phoenix has finally released and honestly, I was pretty excited. It was always going to be a tough movie for fans to digest following the Disney/Fox merger but I still had high hopes for what it had to offer. I also feel it’s important to mention that before I go any further with this review, I am a big fan of the X-Men. I enjoy reading the comics, enjoy seeing the characters on screen and also can happily sit down and watch each and every X-Men movie there is. I genuinely expected Dark Phoenix to be an enjoyable and satisfying entry to X-Men saga but instead it was just a complete disappointment for a handful of reasons.
A Bland and Uneventful Story:
The plot is best described as uninteresting, dull and pointless. It’s the classic Phoenix Force plot in which Jean Grey is taken over by a power she is unable to control and hurts the people she loves around her. It sounds interesting and while we’ve seen it before this movie does give audiences a better take at telling that story, it attempts to focus more on the emotional side to the story but still falls very short. Everything that happens during the course of this two hour long movie is extremely and utterly flat.
The first act is so rushed it feels wrong, with the editing just all over the place including random one liners from certain characters thrown in at the most random of times, it’s such a shame as it ruins any immersion you may have had at those moments during the movie. The action scenes were not too great, the direction of the movie through each act felt like it really went nowhere and the villain was terrible. These are all things I personally would consider key in telling a great X-Men story. There were a small handful of moments that I really enjoyed and you can see they tried to tug at heart strings and evoke some serious emotions but the end product really ended up just being… flat.
The performances were not too terrible as all of the cast are very talented actors but due to the lack of passion that it seems went into writing the script for Dark Phoenix, the actors carried the same feel. It seriously felt like half the cast didn’t want to be on set, it was all half hearted and they had very little to go on. While the main focus was on Jean Grey, it was at the expense of the others. The rest of the X-Men team were simply cameos and given one liners instead of treating them like key characters that should continue to be fleshed out, explored and given their moments.
Make Your Own Mind Up:
Dark Phoenix broke my heart, it wasn’t the movie I had hoped it would be but it sure did have it’s moments that I enjoyed. While it seemed to lack passion and heart it’s clear there was an attempt made. The visual effects were stunning, Hans Zimmer’s score was beautiful as usual and the movie gave us a better take at the Jean Grey Phoenix Force story. While reviews largely are negative, many people are still very much split with many saying they actually enjoyed it and it was refreshing. So while this review itself is largely negative make your own mind up and see if you agree with me afterwards. If you’re a fan of the X-Men then obviously check it out, if you’re looking for your next favourite super-hero movie then I’m afraid this isn’t it.