If you don’t know that I am a huge Marvel fan by now, really, who are you? So it was strange for me to not see Dark Phoenix in theaters. Especially since I am a giant X-Men fan. Well the reason was pretty simple. I heard it was awful and not to waste my money from many people that I trust. Comic book fans like me. That also happened to be a crazy few months with lots of trips away and the timing would have been hard to make work. Well, I finally saw it and let me say, I am glad I waited.
Full disclosure here, I watched it on an airplane. So on a tiny little television, without great graphics, and headphones that I had to hold in place for optimal sound. Yeah, not the best experience to begin with. But I admit, at first I was really into it. Even thinking to myself, yes some things are cheesy, but did people hate this movie THAT much? How?!
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WARNING: SPOILERS FOR DARK PHOENIX AHEAD!
And then it went on. And on. At some point I started to doze off. The whole creatures from outerspace that are sort of Skrulls, but not (because Fox didn’t own the rights to them at the time I am sure). Yes, I know they are the D’Bari and were in comics at one point, but they are still lame. Skrulls are way cooler. They are my favorite alien race in Marvel comics — come at me.
The overall plot was great, but it wasn’t executed well and it was very muddled. Honestly Dark Phoenix could have been better without the D-Bari. Make Jean Grey the villain the entire film. Show her struggling with the new Phoenix force and her pleasure for doing bad things. Maybe she has a WOW moment at the end, and changes her mind. Maybe she doesn’t. But there was no need for the D’Bari to be chasing her around.
I know a lot of people claim this is one of the best scenes in the film, and one of the best action scenes. But I am sorry, I wasn’t a fan. Honestly I was probably so over the movie at the time — and to see it on a tiny airplane screen… well, that just isn’t how an action scene should be watched.
But How Was The Action?
Oh the action. Parts were good. Heck, parts were great. But the 5.5 hour train fight scene is what put me to sleep. I found myself dozing in and out and checking my watch. Perhaps it was because I was so over the D’Bari at this point.
Had the story been all about Jean, taking on her fellow X-Men, and struggling with MASSIVE amounts of power — and that’s IT — it would have been much better. This all coupled with the fact that a lot of the acting was lazy, and some characters were poorly cast, just made me lose interest. And that CGI.. I mean… you guys… it was not very good. At all.
If you are a comic book fan, a Marvel fan, and an X-Men fan, see this movie. Don’t plan to be super impressed but at this point you are probably invested in these characters and it is like just watch it already. Pull off that band-aid. It isn’t a great movie. It might not even be a good movie. But it is an X-Men movie. And it is (sort of) worth watching.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender and their portrayals of Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr (Magneto), respectively, are part of the reason I have loved this collection of X-Men films so much. I think they both do an incredible job, and they are both amazing actors. That continues to be true in this movie, to an extent. They just couldn’t save it for me. Not overall anyways.
Dark Phoenix seemed to be really phoned in — with several aspects. It could have been so good, but it fell flat. And put me to sleep. YAWN.
Still plan to see the movie? Check out these comic books you should read before seeing Dark Phoenix. That should help. A little.
About Dark Phoenix
In DARK PHOENIX, the X-MEN face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable.
Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together.
Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.