Dark Phoenix (2019)
PG-13 | 1h 53min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 7 June 2019 (USA)
Synopsis: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all of humanity.
Review: I am not sure if DARK PHOENIX is a Jean Grey semi-origin/focus story or just another X-MEN film. Regardless it is a solid bit of fun. The timeline is a little wonky and a few of the characters seem a tad out of character but if you can look past all of that you will be fine. Jean Grey is at the heart of this one and actress Sophie Turner delivers a rock solid performance as the title X-Woman. So it succeeds where it needs to and hopefully you can over look what doesn’t.
We learn here how Grey (Turner) wound up at Professor Charles Xavier’s (James McAvoy) school and became one of the pivotal peeps. At this point in the journey the x-men are loved by everyone and have elevated them selves to super hero status. Xavier has a direct line to the White House and his team is the first called upon for the most dangerous missions. It is on one of these missions that Grey comes in contact with a solar flare that super chargers her powers. Now barely unable to control it she becomes a liability to the others which brings about some tough decisions.
As the story unfolds we learn that what Grey now contains is being tracked by some ruthless ET’s led by an Edgar Winter looking Jessica Chastain. No offense to Edgar or Jessica. These aliens are hellbent on doing whatever it takes to get this power even if it means destroying Earth. The X-Men have to decide if losing one of their own is too big a price for saving the world.
Hail hail the gangs all here for this one. Minus one. Which I am not sure if that is a surprise or not. Regardless you will certainly get a good dose of all your fave characters; even if they don’t quite seem the same. Though not totally different you feel as if they have grown older and in doing so are not as comfortable in their skins as once before. If you go back and watch the original X-Men films – especially one and two – you get the feeling that the filmmakers where trying to connect them in some way. Granted all the faces have changed since 20011’s First Class. But if you watch the early films on the heels of this one you get more of the concepts and motivations.
This is an action packed ride that keeps you engaged from start to finish. Grey shines more than once as she battles both her past and current demons. It is also a look at Xavier from a perspective that we have not seen in the past. That as one who uses these mutants for his own gain and notoriety. Not as the savior earlier portrayed. So yes there is some depth there but often you get tripped up by the timeline. Events take place in this one that blatantly go against the earlier films outcomes. You can’t focus on them or it will frustrate you unnecessarily. Just have fun take it for what it is.
DARK PHOENIX is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language. It is a darker film than some of the others in the franchise but still rated fairly. The X-MEN often take a backseat to the rest of the Marvel Universe but that shouldn’t be the case. Certainly worth the box office ticket price.