“Dark Phoenix” is an all-powerful mutant character who also goes by the name Jean Grey. Some call the saga one of the best comic book series ever made. Having already attempted the storyline in the not-so-great “The Last Stand” with critical disapproval, imagine the hype when fans of the story line discovered it would get a second chance, but this time with a younger set of characters.
The film starts off with some slight insight as to what may lead our title character, Jean Grey, to her eventual emotional trauma. Cut to a time in the future where we’re now introduced to an established team of X-Men similar to the team we last saw at the end of “X-Men Apocalypse” minus the cooler costumes.
Nonetheless, we’re given an amazing introduction to the team accompanied by Hans Zimmer’s score, which pushes the scene to greater lengths. As the team is tasked with an outer space mission that would change their team’s dynamic forever.
The action in the film as well as the VFX sequences were nothing short of amazing, especially the scenes set in space that showed the cosmic force take refuge inside of Jean. Along with great power showings from the fast Quicksilver and oh-so-blue Nightcrawler, we even get to see Storm use her powers in space and, although not scientifically accurate, still cool.
This scene all around is my favorite from the film; Sophie Turner does wonders in playing off her emotions in this scene, showing how worried she is. That as well as Mystique taking reign as leader of the team proved to be one of my favorite X-Men action scenes of all time.
Without spoiling the film too much, I feel it is important to get into the things I felt didn't go right within the film, then continue with the positives. Even though we have known these characters for a couple of movies now, I still felt a bit detached from some of the characters who deserved more dialogue like Storm, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler. If the film was a bit long and if it had more driven out and less simplistic dialogue, it could have easily fixed that problem.
The film altogether was good, but it had every chance to be a great film with a couple more tweaks done to it. Adding more dialogue to background characters as well as digging a bit deeper into the group’s current dynamic would have been great, so when the big death of the film happens, it would have hit harder. Granted, we have known these characters for some time now, so it was sad to see. Regardless, it would have been nice to see the current dynamic more before just jumping into such tragedy.
Another great scene in the film is when Jean lets the Phoenix start to take over her after learning about her father’s treachery and professor X’s involvement. This twist is what leads to an epic battle between Jean and the other X-Men, which leads to a tragic death mentioned earlier. The battle scene was a great way to showcase the X-Men’s abilities. Unfortunately, some fell short as Storm was definitely underutilized in this battle sequence.
As the film goes on, we’re introduced to how this phoenix not only is destroying Jean, but also her family known as the X-Men as well. It divides the X-Men in half, one team set on killing her and another bent on saving her. With thrilling action sequences throughout the film and slow simplistic dialogue, one can’t help but wonder how will Marvel do now that they officially own these characters?
Serving up a far greater storyline than the one introduced in “The Last Stand,” this is definitely a step in the right direction for the X-Men, but I hope one day we’re able to get way better special effects than just a quick Dazzler cameo. That was great by the way, but I also can’t forget to mention the underwhelming presence of Jessica Chastain’s villain, which honestly could have been left out altogether.
All in all, this film served as a good send-off for the “First Class” franchise with amazing special effects and team costumes as well as an awesome ending action sequence that showcased Storm’s abilities in a bigger sense, overall ending the film on a great note. Although falling short at times and not being so comic book accurate, it was still a good film. Here’s to hoping Marvel does the franchise right and shows us even better films in the future.
Echo Grade : C+