Review: Dark Phoenix
Most of the time when I am going to watch a movie or any other type of entertainment, I try not to spoiler myself. This time was different. The story in Dark Phoenix could be considered some type of reboot because in the 2006 movie X-men: The Last Stand we met the on-screen version of Dark Phoenix played by Famke Janssen.
To my surprise, the 2019 reboot of Dark Phoenix played nothing like the 2006 version. I am not sure if that is a good thing. I left the theater thinking, is that how they wanted to end this rendition of X-men?
I won’t go into the movie scene by scene because if you’re curious you should go see this for yourself. However, the lasting impression of Dark Phoenix was less than stellar for me. I don’t know if the directors did this on purpose, but most of the action parts of the movie can be seen in the trailer.
The movie itself had a slow start and when things finally did pick up, Jean Grey was so over the top and confusing. After taking in the Phoenix during a rescue mission in space, Jean just wakes up and is so stimulated that she wants to drink and party.
However, she ends up having a meltdown at the sight of fire. This causes her to send a shock wave out, almost kill everyone around her, and then pass out.
I understand the Phoenix power is something she can’t control. Her senses are heightened and so are her emotions. However, that does not explain why she is running around for the rest of the first half of the movie like a teenager with an attitude problem.
Jean is extra for no reason the entire time she’s under the influence of Dark Phoenix. Not once did I think, Jean really has no control. It always seemed like Jean was just irritated with people trying to help her, so she would throw a fit.
Example A, she kills Raven or Mystique (whichever name you prefer) while they are having a perfectly normal, non-threatening conversation.
Poor Raven. All she wanted to do was stop being in the X-men and live happily ever after with Beast.
Example B, she runs to Magneto’s compound where he is actually living happily ever after and brings the military to his doorstep. And while he’s trying to cover for her, she comes out and tries to kill everybody with a helicopter.
Magneto was legitimately trying to save you. Why would you do that?
Perhaps I never truly bought into the split personality in this movie. As I mentioned before, Jean Grey didn’t seem like she was changing personalities. She just seemed annoyed by everything. It was like the Phoenix powers acted on her impulse.
As a result, I was not excited when she went into space at the end and sacrificed herself to rid the world of the dark power. In my head, I was thinking, “You’ve been rude this entire movie, and I’m supposed to feel happy that you changed your mind?”
The most interesting part of the movie:
The most interesting part of the story, which did not get explored nearly enough, was the Beast having an issue with Xavier. Beast was mourning the death of Raven so he called Xavier out for not really caring about the gifted children and using them for self-gratification.
Before her run-in with Jean Grey, Raven also mentioned that Xavier was conceded and only using the X-men as a way to fit in with humans versus protecting the mutants. Raven planned on leaving the X-men but the whole Dark Phoenix thing happened.
After Raven’s funeral, Beast was upset that he didn’t let her leave when she mentioned it. He confronted Xavier about his use of the mutants. He said it’s not the world the gifted children need protection from, it’s Xavier.
That was actually the best part of the movie.
From what I gathered, Xavier is to blame for Jean Grey going off the rails because he didn’t pay enough attention to her while she was growing in power and angst. He was too busy trying to unite the world, which is why he couldn’t calm her down when she eventually went off the deep end.
Can we talk about how Beast can transform
There was a scene with Magneto and Vuk where he pointed a gang of guns at her and started lighting her up. It was a short scene, but it was exciting and I liked it.
Jean Grey did have a scene before she went out to space where she blew up a few henchmen and they dusted away. That was cool too.
Overall, Dark Phoenix isn’t in the top 20 of the best comic book movies created for the cinema. Maybe this reboot was best left untouched. The X-men have plenty of stories to tell and perhaps in the future, we will get to see them adapted to the big screen.
Opinion: You’re not invited to the X-Men Reboot with Disney and Marvel