#DarkPhoenix – Movie Review

Dark Phoenix – Budget of $200 million – 1 hour and 54 minutes

Dark Phoenix

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In 1975, Charles Xavier sensed a young mutant needed help.  At her young age, Jean’s powers were so strong she accidentally killed her parents in a car crash while remaining unharmed.  Charles waited, by her bedside, for Jean to wake up.  She instantly knew her parents were dead and Charles wasn’t a doctor.  He offered her a place to stay and safely explore in powers.  Always, Jean has lived in fear of her powers because she hurt people and broke things.  Charles tells her she is special not broken.  She has a gift.  A gift can be used to build or destroy, but its still a gift.  Jean feels safe and decides to stay at Charles’s school for mutant children.  Seventeen years later, the X-Men are going on a mission to save astronauts spinning out of control because of a solar flare.  Storm, Nightcrawler, Quicksilver, Cyclops, Beast, Jean, and Mystique work together to save the astronauts but they forget the commander.  Mystique decides the risk is too great to save him but Professor X (Charles) believes Jean is strong enough to save the commander.  She holds the ship together long enough for Nightcrawler to find him and bring him to their spacecraft.  Before Jean can save herself, the solar flare reaches her.  But she doesn’t burn.  Instead, she absorbs its power.  Jean earns the nickname Phoenix among the other students and they celebrate with a party.  At the party, Jean is triggered and release a power surge that knocks out everyone at the party.  Professor X attempts to help an unconscious Jean but she’s blocking him.  He uses Cerebro to enter her mind.  He is horrified to see what the solar flare is doing to her.  All the walls he created to protect her from pain are crumbling.  Jean forces him out of her head and wakes up.  She has uncovered a painful lie and wants answers.  The X-men go after her with the hopes of bringing her back.  But Jean is too far gone.  And she makes the ultimate mistake.  With no trust in Professor X, Jean searches for Magneto to find a way to control the power inside of her.  But, Jean doesn’t know her amplified power is not caused by a solar flare.  It was a power source that destroyed the D’Bari’s planet.  Vuk, a shapeshifter from D’Bari, wants Jean’s power to rebuild her planet on earth.  First, she just needs to kill everyone and everything with Jean’s power.  If Vuk can’t do it with Jean, she will kill her.

So, let’s start with the pros.  Strong cinematography during each emotional scene.  Having rain fall down on Jean during her darkest moments.  But her new power causes the cracks in her armor to glow.  It’s a great contrast of who she was and who she is becoming.  Plus it’s a visual representation of her internal struggle.  It is an amazing display.   Next, the CGI is pristine.  In the past, the CGI looks a bit cartoon-ish during large fight scenes.  However, the CGI for this installment is the most realistic you have ever seen in an X-Men movie.  It’s difficult to tell who is CGI’ed and when.  Finally, they reference that Mystique and Beast are the final two of the First Class that’ still alive. This fact will cause die-heart fans a bit of sadness.   After 3 films, we have grown close to these characters (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).

Now, the cons.  There is no big Quicksilver scene.  That classic moment of him eating pizza, playing darts, and moonwalking while saving people is not there.  Next, Wolverine will always be missed.  While those are small things, they are what we expect and hope for from an X-Men movie.  Also, the storyline just falls flat.  We needed more history on the D’Bari, Vuk, and their planet.  They just came from nowhere and wanted to kill humans. Plus, the writer’s assume the fans know the Scott/Jean love story.  Some don’t and it should be explained.   This movie is her origin story, so their love should be included.  This movie should be enjoyed on the IMAX screen for the effects.  However the next time you will want to see it, is on cable TV.  And there are no post-credit scenes.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

No, and you’re not like the other patients – Prof. X

I forget sometimes that you can read minds – Mystique

I think this is not as much fun as I thought it would be – Nightcrawler

Is everybody ok? – Gene

I basically did everything. Gene did a little, at the end. But I did everything – Quicksilver

It means I’ll have to build a better machine – Beast

It wasn’t an accident, Scott – Storm

Why not start at the beginning – Magneto

It’s so much easier to understand your language when you’re not screaming – Vuk


2 replies »

  1. Very nice review.

    Can you review this one, “annihilation” directed by Alex Garland. I was moved by the plot and reflections brought forth from this movie. There is something deep in thoughts in it but I can’t say it clearly.

    Best, A reader from China

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