REVIEW — “Dark Phoenix”
Dark Phoenix is written and directed by Simon Kinberg and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain. It tells the story X-Men Jean Grey, who begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. Uh. Alright. Dark Phoenix is just… miserable.
Simon Kinberg directs here and he uh… he does something. I’m not gonna beat around the bush. This is bad. He did a bad job. It feels like no one directed this. Throughout the entire runtime of Dark Phoniex, there is never one shred of inspiration, passion or vision. I’ve been a fan of Kinberg’s work in the past, but this is just a disaster. I hesitate to call this a misfire because there was nothing fired. There is nothing here to even hold on too. I refuse to believe he wrote this on his own. The script is so diluted and watered down that any talentless writers room with a vague understanding of the Dark Phoniex saga could have cobbled it together. Each line of dialogue is lifeless trailer talk with little to no substance or subtlety. Nuance is a foreign entity in this film and by the end, you’ll be remembering the good old days of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain. Some of the most talented actors and actresses working today. Micheal Fassbender and James McAvoy are two of our generations best actors. I’m a huge fan of every single one of them. Not one good performance in the lot. Fassbender and McAvoy try a little but even they couldn’t save this. I’m convinced Jennifer Lawrence was on set for two days. I’ve never seen an actress so unenthusiastic and dull in a project this size. Sophie Turner is trying her best here, but they’re trapped in this sinking ship, and no one makes it out on the other side.
I hate to tear this movie apart, but I wanted to walk out. For a franchise that had Deadpool and for god sakes Logan come out in their final hour, to end on such a dud, is deeply upsetting. We’re asked to care about characters we barely know or who were briefly introduced in the last installment. The last 30 minutes is one long action scene and it feels like a completely different film, an equally as an amateur and careless one, but a different one none the less. There is no character development or depth. No theme or message. Dark Phoenix has nothing to say. It’s a rushed, forced cash grad that serves as a reminder of the dangers of studio filmmaking. Will it change anything? No. Will it be remembered. No.
Dark Phoniex is the cinematic equivalent of watching an animal bleed out to its painful death. 1/5