Feature Name: X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Directed By: Simon Kinberg
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Jessica Chastain
Run Time: 114 minutes
The twelfth installment in the X-Men film series as well as the seventh and final installment in the main X-Men series, X-Men: Dark Pheonix fails to live up to the level of the earlier films.
The film follows the life of Jean Grey, a powerful mutant with telepathic and telekinetic powers who absorbs a mysterious cosmic force during a space recovery mission. This force has effects on her — amplifying her powers to unimaginable levels and causing her to lose control, unleashing the Dark Phoenix. What happens when she loses control and how the X-Men attempt to save her and the world, is what the film is all about.
Dark Phoenix focuses on how powerful Jean is and how she can destroy the world, but the execution doesn’t make you feel like the consequences for her actions are dire. The rift between the head of the X-Men founder Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and team leader Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is not convincing enough. The actors do their parts well but the writing lacks the drive to make viewers feel the tension.
Sophie as the Dark Pheonix is one of the high points of the films. She beautifully conveys the vulnerable aspects of Jean and the powerful persona of the Dark Pheonix. Her inner conflict — getting to know about her childhood, her parents and powers — will make you feel for her. This film also focuses on how Xavier’s ‘for the greater good’ has an effect on the life of Jean.
The other villain in this film is Vuk (Jessica Chastain), an alien who manipulates Jean in order to get the cosmic power in her. All mutants — thought they have less screen time — deliver good performances.
The low point of the film is that the script of X-Men Dark Pheonix is neither exciting nor new. The film is pretty predictable. The action is not out of the box with some scenes seeming rushed. The CGI work in the action scenes could be better.
A weak screenplay and script with some clunky dialogue weigh down the characters and makes the film a bit of a bore.