Movie Review – ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I know I’ve said I was hoping to revisit the ‘X-Men’ film series from beginning to end and I know there are movies out there that I’ve missed in the collection. Hopefully when ‘Dark Phoenix’ comes out on DVD and Blu-ray, I’ll get that opportunity to collect the ‘X-Men’ films in one complete box set.

‘X-Men’ as a film series has been pretty inconsistent over the years, hasn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed these movies and ‘X-Men’ as a series has been pretty entertaining overall. But with so many changes made to the ‘X-Men’ timeline in the movies, things have been inconsistent indeed.

I’ve only reviewed one ‘X-Men’ movie on my blog and that happened to be ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ which I saw at the cinema back in 2016. 2016 was a very different year for me back then when I was doing my blog. I was inexperienced in my blog’s first year and the welcome tagline was not invented.

I also wrote quick movies reviews that were shorter compared to today. Now I’m older and more experienced, I can share more on what I think of the ‘X-Men’ film series overall and how I’ve enjoyed it, despite so many variations the ‘X-Men’ movies have delivered in terms of quality and storytelling.

I saw the first two ‘X-Men’ movies directed by Bryan Singer on DVD back in 2005. I later saw ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, the third film of the series at the cinema in 2006. Whilst that film wasn’t good as the first two movies and I know a lot of people hated it when they saw it, I have a soft spot for that film.

I’ve seen ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, but my memories of it are vague even though I did enjoy it. Though they’re likely to change should I see it again after hearing how badly rated it is. I later saw ‘X-Men: First Class’ when released on DVD and saw ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ at the cinema in 2014.

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ was the latest ‘X-Men’ film I’d seen before seeing ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ at the cinema recently. I haven’t seen the other two ‘Wolverine’ films nor have I seen the ‘Deadpool’ films. But hopefully when I get to having the ‘X-Men’ films complete on DVD/Blu-ray, I’ll soon watch them.

And thus we get to the topic of what my review’s about today. We’ve now come to what is arguably the end of the ‘X-Men’ film series produced by 20th Century Fox. Yes, I know ‘The New Mutants’ is coming out soon but that’s separate from this film. Here is where the main ‘X-Men’ film series ends.

‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’…or just ‘Dark Phoenix’ as they call it in America (I don’t get why the film titles have to be different in the UK as opposed to in the US. It’s the same with ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Avengers Assemble’ again) is arguably the fourth of what is called ‘The X-Men Prequels Quadrilogy’.

This film…did not get a good reception when it was released at the cinemas recently in its first week. Critics have given negative reviews on the film saying that it’s ‘boring’ and it hasn’t been rated well on Rotten Tomatoes. I knew of the bad reception this film was getting before I saw it at the cinema.

But I wanted to give this film an open mind and, well…but hey this is ‘X-Men’! I’ve enjoyed the ‘X-Men’ movies despite the variance of quality and storytelling they’ve had over the years. I enjoyed ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ despite the criticism it got. So maybe ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ will be a decent flick.

And after seeing the movie at the cinema…I don’t know what the critics are complaining about. I really enjoyed ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’! I found myself having a good time watching the movie when my best friend Stephen and I saw it at the cinema. Even Stephen liked it and he’s an ‘X-Men’ film fan.

I mean, okay, it’s probably not the most epic of ‘X-Men’ movies and it could’ve been pretty spectacular and emotionally charged with all the characters involved. But honestly, to call it ‘boring’ isn’t valid. I found myself pretty compelled watching every scene featured in the film at the cinema.

The film mostly takes place in 1992, nine years after the events of ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. In the film, the X-Men rescue the crew of a space shuttle called the Endeavour when it’s critically damaged by a solar flare-like energy. In the process, Jean Gray gets stranded and absorbs the energy into her body.

As a result, the mental block put into Jean Gray by Charles Xavier gets broken. Very soon, Jean Gray’s mutant powers get taken over by the solar energy inside of her and she soon becomes a deadly force of nature called…the Dark Phoenix. Wait! Have we done this before in ‘X-Men’ already?

Oh yes, we have. It was touched upon in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ where Jean Gray became the Dark Phoenix. Though that was arguably a poorer version of the Dark Pheonix story compared to this one in the titular ‘Dark Phoenix’ film and it involves aliens which I had no idea about watching the movie.

Honestly, I found the Dark Phoenix story involving Jean Gray pretty compelling and praise must go to Sophie Turner (who I realise was in ‘Games of Thrones’) as Jean Gray for her performance in the movie. I could feel the struggle, anger and anxiety Jean’s character had when seeing the movie itself.

All of the cast do wonders in the movie. There’s James McAvoy who returns as Charles Xavier in the film. There’s also Michael Fassbender who returns as Magneto in the film. It did take a while for Magneto to appear and I think he should’ve appeared earlier, but he was great to watch in this film.

There’s Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. I was shocked when Jean Gray accidentally killed Mystique because of her Dark Phoenix powers. I didn’t see that coming! I’d grown to like Mystique as a character in the ‘X-Men’ prequels. How is her absence explained for the rest of the ‘X-Men’ timeline?

Nicholas Hoult (who I realised was in ‘Tolkien’) returns as Hank McCoy/Beast in the movie. It was tense when Hank got angry with Xavier for what happened with Jean killing Mystique. There’s Tye Sheridan (who I saw last year in ‘Ready Player One’) as Scott Summers/Cyclops, Jean’s love interest.

I admit I wish there was more of the love story between Jean Gray and Cyclops to give the movie the emotional impact it deserves. I think there might be some deleted scenes featuring more of the two of them which I’ll have to check out on DVD/Blu-ray. But from what I saw in this film, I found it rather sweet.

There’s Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm; Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler and Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver. There’s also Jessica Chastain as Vuk, the leader of the alien shape-shifting D’Bari who come for Jean because of her powers. I did find her pretty intimidating. 😀

So ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ was a pretty compelling, enjoyable and entertaining superhero flick for me at the cinema. Maybe not many people will see that in the light I do, but for what it is, I found it worthwhile. If this is the last of the main ‘X-Men’ film series, I am glad we’ve ended on a decent one.

It’s sad the ‘X-Men’ film series by Fox has come to an end and the movies have had an interesting if inconsistent progress in terms of storytelling. But I’ve enjoyed seeing the ones I saw at the cinema. Like many ‘X-Men’ fans and movie-goers, I’ll take away cherished memories in watching these films.

I’m so looking forward to when the ‘X-Men’ film series comes out complete on DVD and Blu-ray along with ‘Dark Phoenix’ so that I can review the movies from start to finish. And who knows! Maybe ‘Dark Phoenix’ is not the last one. Maybe there will be more ‘X-Men’ movies at the cinema…

(realises) …Oh no! The ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ is taking over the ‘X-Men’ movies in future. How can this happen?! How can this even work?! It’s okay for the ‘X-Men’ film series by Fox to end but the ‘MCU’ series won’t with taking over ‘X-Men’ as well?! WHEN WILL THOSE MOVIES EVER END!!!!!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

(walks off) SERIOUSLY, WHEN WILL ‘MCU’ STOP MAKING MOVIES!!!

4 thoughts on “Movie Review – ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

  1. Timelord 007

    Marvel need a replacement for,The Avengers so you can bet the reboot happens within 5 years with a whole new cast.

    The reason The Avengers got changed to Avenger Assemble is because of The Avengers movie from 1998 based on the tv series, let’s just say it’s on par with Batman & Robin as being notoriously bad.

    Have to disagree with you on this my friend, barring Sophie Turners excellent performance & the train sequence i found this a dull experience.

    Charles has become arrogant & unlikable, Magneto basically rehashing disapears then reappears plot again & Mystique dies because Jennifer Lawrence wanted out, Quicksilver missing from half the film & the new villain was pointless.

    I just didn’t feel any emotional connection to the characters & the film lacked spectacle for me & felt more a contractual obliged sequel.

    Glad you found some entertainment from it through & as always a good well presented review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Yeah well with that being said there’s no way the new X-Men can replace the originals despite the need for Marvel to replace the Avengers. No one can play Wolverine better than Hugh Jackman. At least I can’t see it happening. For all I know Jared Leto might get cast Wolverine in the MCU. 😀

      That’s ‘The Avengers’ film with John Steed and Emma Peel, isn’t it? I’ve not seen that film though I have heard bad things about it. I don’t see why that should make difference as having the MCU movie called ‘The Avengers’ in both UK and US would’ve been fine rather than name it differently in seperate countries.

      I can’t take the viewpoint you have on finding the film dull as I found it very compelling and interesting. Maybe it’s because I’m not into the ‘X-Men’ films as much as I am into the ‘Spider-Man’ films as the ‘X-Men’ films are very inconsistent indeed.

      I wouldn’t say Xavier was arrogant and unlikeable. What he did to Jean Gray was debatable and questionable, but he did what he judged to be right at the time and he at least admits later on he was wrong in his judgement to Hank aboard the train.

      I did hear that Jennifer Lawrence wanted out of the movie but I didn’t know that before watching it so Mystique’s death came as a shock and a surprise. Yeah I was disappointed Quicksilver wasn’t in this movie much. I wish we knew more about the aliens and what their motivations were in the film including from the new villian.

      Maybe my opinion on the film might change by the time I come to review all the ‘X-Men’ films complete on Blu-ray when the time comes. But honestly I found this film a worthwhils experience and thoroughly enjoyed it.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Dark Phoenix’ and thank you for sharing your thoughts to me on it.

      Tim. 🙂

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      Reply
  2. Timelord 007

    Disney spent 65 billion buying out Fox they want X-Men & Fantastic Four back at Marvel in house, with Avengers wrapping up i suspect X-Men will be Marvels big cash cow, i love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine i don’t envy the actor who plays him next very big shoes to fill, hopefully with the right casting Marvel bring something new to the franchise what that is remains to be seen.

    I personally like a faithful adaption of Fantastic Four, neither films done it justice yet but in Marvels hands I’m more confident, they need have the friendship between Reed Richards & Victor Von Doom & how that becomes fractured something they failed to do well in the other movies.

    I just felt with Dark Phoenix it was a contractual obliged movie, i felt the cast wasn’t as invested in there characters barring Sophie Turner, i will watch it again on Blu ray give it a second chance but i just left feeling disappointed maybe because of the struggles in my personal life affecting my moods i don’t know, i thought the train sequence excellent but that was shot as part of the reshoots, this has had a lot of behind the scenes issues..

    Anyway hopefully Spider-Man deliver the goods, not sure the supporting cast around the excellent Tom Holland work to the recent films, i thought Tobey Maguire & James Franco as Peter & Harry was the backbone of what made that trilogy so enjoyable you felt the drama & emotions of there friendship, when Harry dies in Spider-Man 3 i was crying cause the friendship felt believable.

    One thing i will say Dark Phoenix ain’t nowhere near as bad as Hellboy reboot that was shockingly awful lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Yeah I suppose MCU might do well with their versions of X-Men and the Fantastic Four when it comes to doing them in movies. But I’m in favour of the originals and again it will be big shoes for the actor to fill in Wolverine’s place as Hugh Jackson did so well with the role. Maybe the actor chosen to play Wolverine will be good. But at this point, I’m not sure.

      I actually like the original FF films from 2005 to 2007 despite the flaws they had. I’ve not seen the 1994 film but I can definitely see why the 2015 film is despised after having seen it. I hope to review both remaining FF films and the ‘X-Men’ films before the MCU versions come out. It’ll be interesting to compare and contrast when it comes to reviewing the various movie versions of those superheroes.

      I’m looking forward to ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ when it comes out at the cinema. But from watching the trailers, I’m sure I’ll have many things to say to criticise the movie when it comes to reviewing it on my blog. The Tobey Maguire era of ‘Spider-Man’ will always be my favourite.

      Thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Have you seen my ‘Doctor Who’ review on ‘Boom Town’ by the way?

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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