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Movie Review - X-Men: Dark PhoenixThe X-Men Universe, produced by 20th Century Fox,  had a twenty year run. Now that it’s over, they should be applauded for the influence they’ve had on the superhero movie genre.

Fox movie assets are now owned by Disney. That means the X-Men can, at some point, be wrapped into the MCU with the Avengers.

Dark Phoenix was produced before the Disney purchase. It was intended to be a bridge between the previous X-Men Universe and a newly imagined X-Men Universe with a new and young generation of mutants. Instead it stands as an unintended swan song to the X-Men as we know them. Which makes it a shame it had to end with such an underwhelming effort.

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The Dark Phoenix story is an absurd mess. Let’s start with the villain… Okay, I’m not even sure where to start with that. Never has a superhero villain been so poorly imagined. Vuk, played by Jessica Chastain, has barely more than a cameo role. You wouldn’t even know the villain’s name except it’s shown just once in a subtitle. Even Xavier himself refers to the villain as: that thing, that woman, I don’t know what.

And what do we know about that “spark/solar flair” thing? We get one line of exposition from Vuk: “It’s the spark that brought life to the universe and now goes around destroying planets, including my own.”

What? How does that even make sense? Lazy storytelling much?

Who’s the Villain, Really?

Maybe Vuk and this spark/thing aren’t really the villains. Maybe Jean Grey is the villain. Which could have worked brilliantly if they hadn’t introduced Vuk/spark in the first place. Take the entire alien storyline out and just build up Jean a little more. There’s plenty of material there for us to relate to in our everyday lives, as an “internal demon” takes over a loved one and how their family copes with it, and then reconciles their feelings.

That’s what the X-Men have always represented: family. But in Dark Phoenix they tried to have it both ways, which drowned all the potential this movie started out with.

Grade: D-

About The Peetimes: The movie is full short, choppy, scenes that made it difficult to get good Peetimes. The 2 best Peetimes are the 3rd and 4th. Both work well, but are only around 3 minutes long.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

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Comments

2 responses to “Movie Review – X-Men: Dark Phoenix”

  1. Good review on Dark PHX. Lots of great points. Absolutely we owe X-Men a great debt.

    There’d be no MCU without the X-Men paving the way for superhero ensemble franchises. Think of what we had before X-1 and 2. Spider-Man 2 was pretty decent thematically, but was a somber standalone when you consider how funny the early X-Men were. And when SM 3 got too many characters together (mostly cardboard villains) they had no idea what to do with them. (Among other reasons SM3 was an epic fail.)

    And early X-Men adding some nice, non-campy levity to those kinds of action-based fantasies was brilliant for the time.

    I saw Endgame again last night (five and a half times I think) and one the one hand, yes, Iron Man and RDJ started it all, but really, X-Men did “Avengers’ first.

    1. Very true. The X-Men were undoubtedly a huge influence on the MCU, both what to do and what not to do. I think the biggest failing of X-Men was the darth of movies. Who knows how it could have worked if X-Men had committed to 2-3 movies a year. Just having a movie every few years makes the series too forgettable.

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