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  • James McAvoyJennifer Lawrence...
  • Action & AdventureScience Fiction
  • Simon Kinberg
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Dark Phoenix: A Bang?

Endings matter. Whether it is the last line of a book or your high school graduation. So when a well-loved franchise like X-Men comes to an end, it should probably end with a bang. But, does Dark Phoenix really go out on a high?

Dark Phoenix follows the origin of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) as she gains her powers during a rescue mission in outer space that the X-Men had been assigned too. Grey is consumed by a cosmic force that drastically elevates her powers. With her newly found powers and the discovery of a dark secret in her history, Grey struggles with making peace with her past, determining her place in the lives of the people around her in the present and what she will do with her powers in her future. With the influence of an extraterrestrial alien (Jessica Chastain), Jean is destructive to those she loves, but can she get control over her powers?

Even though the plot is supposed to be mainly focused on Jean Grey, Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) share too much of the spotlight with Grey. Raven even points out the strong male dominance in the franchise with a line saying, “the women are always saving the men around here, you might want to change the name to X-Women.”

Jean Grey is one of the most intriguing characters in the franchise, and a story of the origin of her power and how she dealt with it should be insightful and outstanding. However, Dark Phoenix puts more focus on the X-Men and takes a shallow scope of Grey’s psychological struggles that have her behave the way she does in the rest of the franchise.

There are some very cool action scenes like one where Magneto and Jean fight over control of helicopters, and another intense fight on top of a speeding train.

For the acting, Sophie Turner’s performance is only mediocre as she lacks the quick change of mood that her character is known for. Turner also only displayed her character’s struggle through the film with clutching her head and showing one only somewhat upset facial expression. When it comes to the flying and action scenes of her character, Turner was more convincing. Jessica Chastain plays an alien with one stone-cold facial expression with no eyebrows. James McAvoy’s performance was not his most outstanding but remained true to the character. Michael Fassbender was the best actor in the film by a long shot. And even though his role was rather short, he gives more depth to his character than any of the other actors did in the few scenes that he had.

Dark Phoenix is supposed to provide closure as the anticipated last installment of the series, but does not provide the bang or awe that a closing film requires.

Like This? Try

Wonder Woman (2017), Captain Marvel (2019), Suicide Squad (2016).

360 Tip

Hans Zimmer decided to retire from composing superhero movies after having worked on scores for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man, but Simon Kinberg convinced him to work on this film.

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