I don’t know about you, but superhero fatigue has finally started to set in. The last thing I wanted to do last weekend was go to the theater to see yet another superhero movie. It also didn’t help that trailers for this movie weren’t exactly selling me on it.
And I wasn’t exactly shocked when the bad reviews started flooding in.
I guess you could say I was pretty adamant about skipping this one. Netflix has a new movie out, I Am Mother that seemed interesting and possibly worth reviewing. Though as I was watching it, I kept thinking to myself, you know things would be totally different if the robot raised a son instead of a daughter. For one, you know that boy would grow up wanting to eventually fuck that robot.
As I guy, I can assure you yes we are all that gross and would end up wanting to have sex with that robot. But then it got me thinking just how more interesting this would be if it went that way. They go from Mother and son to Wife and Father. Then a real human woman shows up and the son falls in love with her, only because she has actual working sex organs. Then the robot gets jealous…
I don’t know, the idea in my head was more interesting than what was on screen, which was reminding me a lot of 10 Cloverfield Lane, but with a robot. It was just another mediocre Netflix film, something I think we are all used to by now.
Speaking of mediocre, that leads me to Dark Phoenix. From what I’ve been hearing from people, this is the worst X-Men movie so far. Right away that seemed farfetched since I doubt anything could be as bad as Origins was.
But then Reals went to go see it over the weekend and loved it, so I gave in and decided to check it out too.
Here are my thoughts.
This film isn’t very good. But! It is in no way the worst X-Men film. Hell, I’d say this is better than Last Stand, the other X-Men film that attempted the Dark Phoenix saga.
But that still doesn’t mean this movie is good.
It does have some really great moments, usually the moments where the actors don’t have to act. So basically the action sequences. The final battle, which takes place on a moving train, is absolutely fantastic and well executed. Maybe that has to do with the fact it was part of the complete reshoot this film went through, I don’t know. But I loved the action here.
There’s this great scene on the train where Magneto levitates all the guns in the train cart, surround our main villain, played by Jessica Chastain
Seeing him blast the shit out of her was hilarious and I might say pretty badass.
Anytime something great happens in this movie, it’s either because James McAvoy or Michael Fassbender has something to do with it. That is unless they’re working opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who wants nothing more than to just get the fuck out of this movie.
She is so phoning it in at this point that it’s impossible to believe she won an Oscar and has been nominated several time for one.
Most of the cast aside from McAvoy and Fassbender, seem like they’re contractually obligated to show up and say their lines. Even Fassbender at times seems like he’d rather be doing something else.
McAvoy on the other hand is always the professional, giving his all… well… okay, even he at times seemed to be tired of this role. When and I’m getting into spoilers now, when Jean kills Raven, there’s zero emotion coming from him.
Not even a generic NOOOO!, he just kind of sits there stone-faced. This was meant to be is adopted sister he just watched die in front of him and we get nothing out of him.
Unless he really hated Jennifer Lawrence so much that not even he could feign sadness at her departure. See ya, bitch! I mean, oh how sad, my sister! No!
I was incredibly puzzled when Mystique or Raven as they call her now, died. The continuity with these films never made a ton of sense, but killing Raven really confused the shit out of me. Then I remembered this is now an alternate timeline do to Wolverine traveling back in time in Days of Future Past.
Seeing how things turned out, she was better off joining Magneto, at least then she’d still be alive. But no, Wolverine changed things, stopped her from becoming an assassin and made her a good guy. And the thanks she got was getting impaled on some house debris.
But one continuity issue still remained and it’s a big issue. Anyone remember how they defeated Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse? You know, the last film that came directly before this one?
Yeah, Jean Grey used her fucking Dark Phoenix powers! The powers she isn’t meant to have yet!
So let’s breakdown the plot, now that I really think about it though, there isn’t much plot to really break down.
It’s now the early 90’s, Professor Charles Xavier has a direct line to the President of the United States and is being celebrated around the world as a hero.
So when the space craft Endeavour gets damaged while in space, the X-Men are called in to help rescue them.
The new class of X-Men is Cyclops, Quicksilver, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Beast and Storm, with Raven as team leader.
Wasn’t Jubilee in the last film? What happened to her? I guess the actress was too busy making a sequel to that shitty Netflix film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Somehow the X-Men manage to fly up into space, leaving earth’s atmosphere with no problem and catch up with the damaged shuttle that is spinning uncontrollably as this strange mass of energy heads their way.
Nightcrawler blinks over with Quicksilver who can still use his powers in zero gravity apparently, to help get the astronauts out of the ship before the radiation wave hits them.
They manage to get everyone free but the captain. Nightcrawler blinks over with Jean, with the hope she could stop the radiation from swallowing the ship with her physic powers.
She gives Nightcrawler enough time to grab the captain and blink away, but not before the radiation wave hits Jean, absorbing into her body.
When they arrive back on earth, the team is labeled even bigger heroes, even having toys made of them.
They take Jean back to the lab to have her checked out, but everything seems fine. She is however having flashbacks to when she was just a child and caused her parents to crash their car, resulting in their deaths.
As the students at the school have a party, Charles Xavier is off rubbing shoulders with some folks in Washington.
Jean seems fine but suddenly a spike in her psychic powers go haywire, knocking out everyone at the party and putting her in a coma.
Meanwhile, a group of aliens have arrived on earth and have… I’m not completely sure what they do. They copy human forms or they bodysnatch humans… I don’t fully get what they did, just that they kill the people they are copying.
The leader of this group of aliens is Vuk, played by an albino Jessica Chastain.
Can we talk real fast about Cyclops? Why does Cyclops suck in these movies? Since the first movie back in 2000, his character has always been so whiny and outright pathetic at times.
To use a word kids like to throw around these days, he’s a soy boy. I don’t remember him being that way in the comics or the 90’s tv animated series. I remember him being pretty cool.
He was the leader of the X-Men, so he had to be strict sometimes, but not whatever he has been portrayed in the movies. He just kind of sucks, which might be why they killed him off so quickly in Last Stand.
Anyway, now that Jean’s powers are amplified, she can hear her father, who she was told died along with her mother.
Angry with Charles, she flies off to find her dad.
Another question, just how powerful is Professor Xavier? They make it seem like he’s the most powerful psychic out there, so why not use that power to make yourself walk?
And to prove my point, later in the film Jean uses her powers to force Xavier to do just that. It was like the film read my mind.
As Jean goes to visit her dad, who is still living in their old house, she notices there aren’t any photos of her hanging up. Turns out her dad is a bit of a dickhead. He passed her off to Xavier after the accident because he was too afraid of her.
This of course enrages her, it also doesn’t help that the X-Men show up to help talk her down.
Angry at being lied to, she attacks some police cars and tosses Raven into some debris, killing her. They also took this moment to get Quicksilver out of the picture by giving him a head injury. Can’t have him using that power of his that would end this whole debacle in seconds. Nope, we got to knock him out and not cut back to him again until a few seconds before the credits roll.
Shocked by what she did to Raven, the only one who is since Charlies expressed zero emotion, Jean takes off and magically ends up on Magneto’s island. So Magneto has an island now where disenchanted mutants can come to live out their days in peace. It has a very Jones Town vibe.
We only get two mutants on Magneto’s side, there’s the one guy who uses his dreadlocks as whips and then there’s a short haired lady who… I’m actually not sure what her powers were.
Jean comes to Magneto to talk since he’s the only mutant she knows who has killed people.
Nothing really comes of their meeting since it is cut short by the arrival of the military. They’ve come to arrest Jean.
Jean goes full rage monster again and attacks the soldiers. Now the X-Men are enemy number one, losing their direct line to the Prez.
Upset about Raven’s death, Beast leaves the X-Men and heads to Magneto’s island where he tells him about Raven’s death. The two band together to seek out Jean, wanting to kill her.
I don’t fully get why they think this is all Jean’s fault. They know about the strange energy that is inside her. They must know she’s acting not of her own volition.
And I don’t see why they’re all blaming Xavier either. Before she died, Raven was even giving him shit about putting the team in danger for wanting to save everyone on the space shuttle and for helping Jean as a child get over some trauma, by blocking some painful memories.
I still don’t see what he did as wrong.
Eventually Jean meets up with Vuk and they actually sort of become relevant to the story. Vuk tells Jean that they are aliens, searching for the power that is now inside Jean. This space energy jumps from planet to planet, destroying everything in its path.
Vuk and her people wish to harness this power. What she doesn’t tell her is they plan on killing everyone on the planet so they can repopulate it with their own kind.
The X-Men and Magneto track Jean down in New York where we finally get a battle. A small battle, but still a pretty cool one. This is a 200 million dollar budgeted movie but it doesn’t feel like it. The set pieces are and especially the action set pieces are smaller in scale. The battle in NY takes place on this tiny block of an avenue.
Granted Magneto did force a train out of the ground and into a building but still…
The action is very contained this time around. There are only two real fight sequences and both of them involved a train.
Vuk talks Jean into giving her the dark phoenix power, but the process is killing her.
Xavier gets Jean to fight back, but not before she shows off her powers a bit. Once again we get another scene involving a close up of an eye getting pierced. We never get that far of course but it was close enough to make you squirm, or at least make me squirm. I hate anything involving eyes and thanks to John Wick and Brightburn, that fear has amplified.
Vuk manages to get away, and by away I mean Cyclops managed to finally do something useful and blasted her out of the building.
The military shows up and arrests everyone, transporting them on a train to a top secret facility where they keep mutants.
The aliens are in the tunnels waiting, boarding the train as it passes.
Magneto and the X-Men decide to work together in taking out these T-1000 like Terminators, leading to dreadlocks guy to die and lady whose powers I never figured out to die.
Jean wakes from her… what is this? Third coma? When she wakes, she and Xavier clear the air just in time for Jean to gain some control over her powers and doing the generic TAKE ALL THE POWER gimmick, exploding Vuk and Jean in outer space.
Some time has gone by, Xavier has retired from the school he helped build, Beast is now the head of the school and I guess the X-Men too. And the school was renamed after Jean.
Then in the sky we see Jean coming back from space.
And that’s basically it, there’s no after credit scene, it just kind of ends on a whimper.
Which I guess is better than how Last Stand ended, I still never noticed the checker piece moving.
Dark Phoenix has a ton of issues, the writing being the biggest issue aside from the phoned in acting. You can say lines in this movie before characters say them, they’re that predictable and generic.
I was almost word for word saying the whole conversation Jean had with Magneto when she paid him a visit.
this should be it for Dark Phoenix, much like the Fantastic Four, you had enough chances and blew it, I don’t want to see another retelling of Dark Phoenix, I’m done with this story. It isn’t all that interesting to begin with.
Speaking of continuity… everyone remembers the scene at the end of Last Stand where Wolverine stabs Jean, killing her to stop her Dark Phoenix rampage, right?
Jean in Dark Phoenix also gets impaled during the train fight sequence, but she is able to quickly brush it off. So… am I missing something? I want to say dreadlock guy pierces her through the chest… something pierces her and she is able to heal herself instantly.
Alternate timeline or not, that still doesn’t make sense.
Regardless of the film’s logic problems, it’s continuity that stays about as consistent as an El Mariachi sequel, the bored actors just showing up because they were contractually obligated, the piss poor writing and the lame ending, the action was still enjoyable enough to give this film a RENT IT.
I wouldn’t rush out to see this one.
Next week I’ll try to see The Dead Don’t Die, but no promises.
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