Dark Phoenix rises to the challenge with a fiery fight for X-Men fans.
Thank you to Twentieth Century Fox for the advanced media screening to facilitate our Dark Phoenix movie review.
The last X-Men movie is finally here and Dark Phoenix officially ends the X-Men series under the leadership of Fox Studios with the X-Men franchise now firmly under Disney’s control. It is a fiery end to the beloved characters that is both emotional and gripping.
A Phoenix will rise. The X-Men will fall.
Jean Grey is the central character in this story with reference to her being Phoenix revealed in the final moments of X-Men: Apocalypse as she embraces her mutant powers. If you wanted to know more about her powers at a young age then this is the movie you have been waiting for. We are shown a young Jean Grey and a glimpse into events that shaped her young life and how she met Professor X.
“You are not broken.”
The words one young mutant needed to hear from someone who finally understood her and was not just another person trying to fix her. Those are the moments that transformed the misunderstood young Jean Grey into a welcomed mutant into the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. We are not shown anything between these moments and her adulthood, where the story really begins.
When the space shuttle encounters a problem in orbit and all communication is lost the President of the US calls upon the X-Men with a dedicated line sent directly to Professor X. The X-Men team is sent into space in an effort to rescue the astronauts, yet their lives are in jeopardy because the plane they use was never designed for the mission ahead. During the rescue attempt, Jean Grey is left literally holding the pieces of the shuttle together when disaster strikes and the cosmic force threatening the astronauts is drawn to Jean Grey.
Jean Grey’s fiery powers are expanded when the mysterious cosmic force changes her, enhancing her fiery powers. She is unable to control what it does to her and the rest of the story revolves around her inability to control the new forces that make her the most powerful mutant of all and beyond the reach of Professor X.
From the trailer you know Jean Grey kills someone she loves and it is this very action that causes X-Men to take sides and divides the team, resulting in X-Men against X-Men which is reminiscent of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.
Jean Grey is fiery. Not just in her powers, but also with her tongue. During a fight with Professor X she yells that X-Men should really be called X-Women since all the women seem to be doing the rescuing. It is a moment that is sharp and made the audience gasp, then laugh.
The fiery part of Jean Grey, played by Sophie Turner, and ability to ascend into space may have some people comparing her to another Marvel character with similar powers: Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. One can only imagine what the two of them would do if they joined forces as allies or even worse, as foes. Admittedly Captain Marvel was not high on my list of ranking Marvel movies as Dark Phoenix is better and definitely preferred when comparing these two Marvel movies.
While this is a solid X-Men movie, even though X-Men is not used in the title, the only major complaint about the movie is the blue color of Mystique and Beast. For some reason both went from a very dark blue to a very light blue in this movie and no explanation is given to the color difference. Mystique’s hair is also changed so she looks less like the iconic character we know and love. Additionally she is never shown in her full Mystique look, as she is always shown clothed. This may be a disappointment to some fans. Nonetheless, Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is powerful and still brings out her character, even if it is a lighter version than shown previously.
The entire X-Men cast from the last three movies leading up to Dark Phoenix returns and it is awesome to see them return to their roles. James McAvoy reprises his role as Professor Charles Xavier. Professor X, as he is affectionately called, is in a wheelchair for this movie and is bald, although we do see some glimpses of him before his accident.
Michael Fassbender plays Erik Lehnsherr, known as Magneto. He has lived largely in exile creating a safe haven for mutants who feel have no home. He plays an instrumental role in what happens to the characters and ultimately who lives and who dies.
Beast is played by Nicholas Hoult, although as previously stated this is a much lighter blue Beast that we are used to seeing. As seen in the trailer Hank McCoy, as he is also known by, is the team member most affected visibly by the one who Phoenix kills and delivers an emotional performance making Beast seem less like an intimidating mutant and more like one of us who truly feels the loss.
Tye Sheridan from Ready Player One plays Scott Summers, aka Cyclops. His skills are put to the test as he fights to save the mutants he calls family but is torn between the one he also loves.
Storm has played both sides of the fence but is firmly welcomed on the X-Men and is played by Alexandra Shipp. Nightcrawler has a highly important role to play in saving people but even his fast movements end up putting people in peril, even though he tried his best. Kodi Smit-McPhee plays Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, and is a fun one to watch and thankfully maintains the iconic dark blue color seen in previous movies.
Quicksilver, also known as Peter Maximoff, was really fun to discover in X-Men: Apocalypse and Evan Peters continues the fun, humor, and awesome moves in this new one. He is one of those people you wait the whole movie to see and are satisfied with even a glimpse of what his character can do. Thankfully he is more than a glimpse.
Is it the best X-Men movie in the franchise? No, but it comes in at one of the top five movies of the X-Men series. Maybe it is because we live in Phoenix and are partial to the name. Maybe it is because a female led movie is pretty awesome. Or maybe it is because we enjoy seeing awesome superheroes doing what they do best, inspiring hope and giving us an amazing movie to enjoy. No matter what it is, Dark Phoenix is definitely an awesome movie for every Marvel fan.
X-Men’s Dark Phoenix is an awesome addition to the X-Men franchise and one I look forward to seeing again opening weekend with my family. This is one movie that will definitely be added to our home movie collection.
Parental Advisory (SPOILER ALERT)
If you have seen other X-Men movies it is on par with the level of violence and action, particularly X-Men: Apocalypse. There are multiple fight scenes with a tremendous amount of weapons.
A horrific car crash is shown in slow motion that might be a bit intense for younger viewers. Multiple helicopter crashes and other vehicles involved result in many deaths, mostly off screen so the blood and gore is minimized but screaming can still be heard. People are crushed to death with the simple movement of a hand.
There is one serious f-bomb dropped by one of the X-Men. There is no music or sounds to cover it up or reduce the chance of a child missing it. It is in your face, loud, and terribly appropriate for the situation. Of course your child has probably already heard this word in many other Marvel movies but this is assuming this is not the first superhero, Marvel, or X-Men movie you are taking your child to see. If the f-bomb dropped by a mutant superhero is not your thing then you might want to skip this one for the kiddos.
There are no bonus scenes. Once the credits roll there is absolutely no need to sit through them unless you just want to do it for the true Marvel fan experience.
Dark Phoenix is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language.
[quote]This is the story of one of the X-Men’s most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic DARK PHOENIX. During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all. Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we’ve come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet — one of their own.[/quote]
- Release Date: June 7, 2019
- Format: IMAX, IMAX 3D, 3D, and 2D
- Rating: PG-13
- Run Time: 1 hour 53 minutes
- Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain
- Directors: Simon Kinberg
- Producer: Simon Kinberg, p.g.a., Hutch Parker, p.g.a., Lauren Shuler Donner, Todd Hallowell
- Studio: 20th Century Fox