X-Men: Dark Phoenix Review
Professor X is a massive jerk! That’s how I want to start this X-Men: Dark Phoenix review which opens today and distributed locally by 20th Century Fox Philippines. The film is directed by Simon Kinberg and stars Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jessica Chastain, Nicolas Hoult and Evan Peters.
As usual, there’s another X-Men movie (the final movie under 20th Century Fox) so I’ve lowered expectations for the movie before seeing it; while at the same time, the X-Fan in me is already hyped for this.
So should I recommend the film? Stick around, read my thoughts and I’m hoping you leave a comment too.
- First off, they have Dazzler here! And it’s not punk-rock Dazzler, its DISCO DAZZLER!
- I feel like James McAvoy has perfected his Professor X with his accent and his motivations and his looks too. Even his hubris is very comic book-ish now more than ever.
- We finally have a very good version of Storm as portrayed by Alexandra Shipp. For the film. we get a good Kenyan accent for Storm plus the way she fights here is comparable to the comic book version. We lack some finesse in the fighting though as Storm is also a formidable hand-to-hand fighter in the books.
- The characterization of Charles Xavier here is spot on. This new shade of gray characterization paints a different picture for the often-times perfect Xavier. In the film, we see a slightly egotistical Charles who still wants peaceful co-existence but at the same time craves the respect and accolades of the humans. So going back…
- Jessica Chastain’s acting here was nice. It’s pretty obvious that she was milking out as much as she can with the limited amount of material she can work on. Her stoic looks and the way she whispers what she plans to do to Earth after she’s gotten what she needs was creepy.
- The train scene (which was a reshoot by the way) was a good scene. It gave each character a time to shine and show us how deadly they can be. From Storm raining electricity at her enemies, to Magneto just crushing a train car full of bad guys to Beast going ummm Beast-mode on invaders, everything was OK. What we lacked though is the classic X-Men theme from the animated series to complement those moments.
- Sophie Turner was a great Jean Grey here. Sure, the writing kinda skewered and faltered but for what she has, she did good. Those cold stares she perfected in Game of Thrones as Sansa Stark played well in this movie.
- The number of times that the X-Woman really kicked ass here was impressive. Whether its Mystique dropping some real talk on Xavier, to Storm being bad ass to that climatic moment when Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey totally took control of the moment; all of them showed us how cool the women of the X-Men were.
- Hans Zimmer is on this and his musical scoring can go from WOW to “was that really necessary?”. Still, its Hans Zimmer.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix may be one of the weaker movies that ties-up a legacy (Avengers: Endgame still has the best one to date) but they manage to actually wrap up the film, still something that can be difficult to accomplish.
- They sure wanted to muck up the X-Men timeline further didnt they. Also whatever happened to aging the characters a bit? Like seriously, its been a decade since we saw them in X-Men: Apocalypse and they look pretty much the same. Cyclops had a haircut, Storm grew her mohawk look a bit and Quicksilver just grew a patch. Nothing to make viewers believe that its been awhile.
- The writing can be over the place. Like there are some motivations here that just didn’t make sense. An isolated case of mutant activity and the decade-long peace between humans and mutants are suddenly thrown out the door? But then again, that really is human nature.
- Whatever happened to the comic book accurate costumes we saw at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse???
That was such a major step back tbh.
- Felt it was a bummer with how they handled specific characters in the film. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that there will be several X-Men that will not appear at the end for specific, plot-driven reasons. That’s totally OK, what’s not OK is when they just completely forget about the character; and then they call him/her back for the big epilogue. Like what the hell was that? That was very much like Ryan Reynolds in Life.
- I can’t stress how disjointed and spaced out the writing here is. Simon Kinberg as a director and a writer needs improvement. Some dialogues were bland while some “talking heads” moments were so dry. There was hope in that scene between Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique and Nicholas Hoult’s Beast but it fizzled out.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix review verdict
Its hard not to dislike X-Men: Dark Phoenix because of the inherent flaws that came along with it. But I still think it was an OK movie. You miss this and you won’t really lose anything. There will be a bit of nostalgia (its been 20 years already since the first X-Men movie came out) and there are four movies already featuring the new versions of Professor X, Mystique and Magneto and not seeing Dark Phoenix may be a big void for you. Scratch that… you miss this and you miss the chance to say goodbye to the X-Men under 20th Century Fox. Say goodbye to the characters as they are now. The next time we see these guys could be in the MCU and could be radically different, distilled and refined even. But we’ll never see them again as the flawed characters (both in and out), the characters we love to hate or hate to love.
Still, have to be honest in the X-Men: Dark Phoenix review, the film has weak legs and is very shaky. I enjoyed the film yes, but this may not be the case for you. Its shaky enough that it may not even break into the top 10 of all the X-Men movies that ever came out. It’s definitely a step above X-Men Origins: Wolverine but that’s saying a lot already.
If you are watching the film, lower thy expectations, enjoy it as a decent popcorn flick (whether that would be through SM Cinema‘s Snack Time or any other concessionaire you want) and say goodbye to one of the longest-running comicbook movie franchise around.
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