This film was dead on arrival.
From the very first trailer, there has been ZERO buzz for this film. No one could even pretend to be excited about Dark Phoenix, and why would they? You have a millennial X-Men cast that has failed to get over with audiences like the original cast did. Then for perplexing reasons, Fox not only decides to miscast Game of Thrones actress and full-time bar patron Sophie Turner, in the role of Jean Grey, but then they put her as the headliner of their latest X-Men installment in just her second film in the role (and sixth film overall), what could possibly go wrong?
Oh wait, what’s this???
Fox delayed the film’s November 2018 release due to negative test screenings from audiences and decided to schedule reshoots (always a good sign). Then the director Simon Kinberg stated that the reshoots were to fix the film’s final act because it was reportedly too similar to Captain Marvel’s ending which released back in February (another red flag). THEN, the film was pushed back AGAIN to June 7 because Fox wanted more money from the Chinese market as the American market had already written them off as a failure. THEN, the reviews came out which confirmed all that we already knew, the film sucks…but does it?
Yes…Yes it does.
Dark Phoenix begins with Jean Grey who has a child inadvertently kills her parents 1 minute into the film (buckle up, this happens a lot). In the present day, the X-Men are performing a rescue mission in space. Things go wrong when Jean absorbs a cosmic force and slowly begins to lose control of herself. The X-Men team up and split apart to save her but another force from space is looking to claim Jean’s newfound power for themselves.
Dark Phoenix gave me Alexithymia because I felt nothing for this film. Not even hate, just nothing. Now, I agree that the vast majority of audiences have tricked into thinking that Disney’s MCU formula is the only way a superhero film can be viewed as good, but that rule doesn’t apply here. Dark Phoenix isn’t a dark film, it’s a dull one. There is no action or suspense in this film, even when a major character dies about 30 minutes in, there isn’t even a gasp, mostly because the audience is not emotionally connected to these characters. The one character audiences did like is taken out by circumstance in just the first act and is sidelined for the remainder of the film.
The acting is uneventful and you can’t blame it all on the novice actors. Jessica Chastain’s performance is soulless even if it’s by design due to the character she is playing. Sophie Turner has no range which makes the decision to make her the focal point of the movie even more stunning. The CGI is rough at times especially in the final act when characters fail to even look real anymore. Then you have the writing, these characters are not their comic book counterpart anymore, even from the previous films, they have all been retconned. No one acts the way they are supposed to making the narrative a complete mess.
If Dark Phoenix was meant to tie up the loose ends of the previous films, all they did was make the entire series a dumpster fire in the process. It may not be the worst X-Men movie ever but you are quickly going to regret rooting for Disney to control half of Hollywood just to get their hands on this franchise.