Nerdlocker Movie Review: Dark Phoenix


The end of an era isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes it’s a mercy. After some hits and many misses, the 20th Century Fox X-Men era has finally come to an end. Casting wise I believe they nailed most characters, both the McAvoy and Stewart casts. The true gem would have to be Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, his presence always outshined everyone and he went out with the character’s strongest entry of all, simply titled, Logan. Aside from the few stronger entries, the X-Men films have been a two decades long orgy of random, incoherent character choices, lack of plot, and a repeat of everything over and over again. Seriously once they released X2 you had seen everything the X-Men would ever do only they would do it repeatedly and always facing nameless, generic villains who all want power and world destruction aaand I’m bored. I genuinely have to ask myself, aside from casting choices, what did these movies really have to offer? Muddy waters my friends, what you hope is mud at least.

Dark Phoenix, X-Men inexplicably missing from the title, is about Jean Grey turning into the Phoenix only this time everyone is younger and more attractive. Yeah.

Take any plot where plutonium or a full fledged nuclear weapon is missing or stolen, now remove said device and insert Jean Grey as the Phoenix. It’s essentially the same plot, and I use the word plot very liberally here. She experiences some changes due to a fast moving cloud in space hitting a space shuttle she is conveniently placed in. It sounds like a little kid who knows nothing about menstruation trying to explain the process to his friends. “The girl is in space right. And then a big purple cloud hits the shuttle she’s in right. And then her body goes through changes because of the cloud and she doesn’t know what kind of tampons to buy. Something like that.” And then one of them asks what tampons are and it’s just a whole thing.

Let’s take a look at Professor Xavier, in his biggest dick moment of the entire franchise when he prevents a little girl from remembering a trauma in her life rather than simply helping her get through it. Let us not forget he did the same damn thing in X3 when he blocked you guessed it, Jean Grey, from remembering something key to her existence. It’s all a rehashed mess. So yeah, he’s a real dick in this movie. Magneto has experienced his entire arc from Holocaust survivor to avenger of those he’s lost to his acceptance that death will not assuage death. He’s done, but for some reason here he is again trying to kill someone. His entire reasoning for ceasing his old ways gets thrown out of a window the instant something kind of sort of threatens his new way of living. His involvement is superfluous this time around. Fassbender is charismatic as Magneto but ultimately he’s not needed. But to his defense many characters in Dark Phoenix aren’t needed, like the nameless, generic villains, led by Jessica Chastain as a thing that wants power and yada yada yada, you’ve heard this story before. She is by far the least interesting aspect to the story and yet she is absolutely key to the “plot” moving forward.

Each scene is merely a setup for the next scene where the X-Men go somewhere, show off their abilities and then disappear only to do it all over again ten times over until the credits begin to roll. Insert CGI everywhere, dramatic music, neutered PG-13 dramatic moments that don’t feel as big as they wanted them to and then the end.

Dark Phoenix is one massive, regurgitated mess of a movie with clear reshoots, incoherent storytelling, generic superhero battles, uninteresting characters all lending themselves to a film that only further shits on anything even remotely resembling a proper timeline. I don’t know what else to say, Dark Phoenix is no bueno. Let’s hope MARVEL can right the ship.

Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language
Runtime: 113 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan
Directed By: Simon Kinberg

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 1/ Acting: 3.5/ Directing: 2.5/ Visuals: 2
OVERALL: 1.5 Nerdskull

Buy to Own: No

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard