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"X-Men: Dark Phoenix" Movie Review

Updated on December 25, 2021
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Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

Finally, the Dark Phoenix story gets the recognition it deserved. Last Stand gave us a minor taste of the Phoenix's power and a lot of people were upset with how the story was handled. I think most comic fans will agree that Dark Phoenix gave the story justice.

The film opens with the President calling on the X-Men to assist in a space mission that's gone horribly wrong. Mystique leads the group in an attempt to save the lives of the astronauts who are trapped on their damaged shuttle. Our heroes notice that some kind of dark mass is fast approaching the panicked astronauts. As the X-Men move quickly to save everyone, Jean risks her own life to ensure everyone else's safety. Jean and the mass merge, causing her already impressive powers to magnify to levels that no one else can fathom. With her mind and the strange mass battling internally, can Jean control her newfound power or will the Dark Phoenix wipe out the X-Men and the world with them?

A lot of people would certainly consider it a risky move to hire the same writer who wrote The Last Stand, widely renowned as the worst entry in the X-Men saga. Thanks to Simon Kinberg's brilliant Days of Future Past, he reset the timeline and got a second chance. Dark Phoenix was fantastically written and closed the loop, bridging past and future together. There were still a few questions left unanswered, but that's what our imaginations are for, right?

Sophie Turner's acting was her best yet, and yes that includes Game of Thrones. The vulnerability and fear that she showed while on the verge of a nervous breakdown from not knowing what was wrong with her was by far the most effort she's put into a role so far. James McAvoy, an already accomplished actor, pushed his role as Charles Xavier even further than before to reach a deep, emotional level. The only one of the group that I was unimpressed with was, surprisingly, Michael Fassbender. Ever since First Class, Fassbender has peeled back layer after layer in Magneto's character development. In this film, however, he seemed like he was just kinda there with no real purpose. It's almost like Kinberg wrote him in just so the whole group would be back for the final film. I do feel like Jessica Chastain's Vuk character and her whole alien species were underdeveloped and not thoroughly utilized to their full potential.

In conclusion, despite its faults, Dark Phoenix was the story we comic lovers deserved. It tied everything together almost perfectly and gave our heroes one last chance to shine before being rebooted and absorbed into the MCU in a few years. I give Dark Phoenix a 3.5 out of 4.

© 2019 Nathan Jasper


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