December 8, 2021

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[Review] X-Men, Dark Phoenix: Is the saga rising from its ashes?

X-Men: Dark Phoenix marks the end of an era, that of Marvel superheroes at Fox. The recent Disney buyout of the company is a game-changer, and the heroes are sure to join the MCU in the next few years. The film therefore found itself decked out with a heavy mission, to conclude the X-Men epic. This change of direction is never a good sign when it occurs during production, and Dark Phoenix is ​​no exception.

We find our band of superheroes who go to the rescue of a rocket trapped in space. The superhero team’s rescue mission is not going to go as planned and Jean Gray is going to be exposed to devastating cosmic energy. Back on Earth, she will discover new powers that make her more powerful, but also more unstable. The X-Men will have to face their most powerful enemy, one of them.

Rekindle the flame
The production of Dark Phoenix has not been a long quiet river and the feature is suffering the consequences of the takeover by Disney. Improvised conclusion of the universe, he carries this heavy burden on his shoulders. Throughout the film, we wonder what is ultimately its functionality. By wanting to exploit the origins of a character introduced several times in the universe, Kinberg’s feature film does not find its place. The characters, except that of Sophie Turner, are erased in favor of a redundant plot. The Dark Phoenix power, already touched on in X-Men: The Fina ConfrontationHere, takes on the appearance of alien power. The scenario is full of clichés of the genre and does not surprise us at any time. Very agreed show, the film sometimes drags on. The clash scenes are effective without ever being transcendent. The choreography is well conducted and served by the realization of Kinberg. For his first feature film behind the camera, the director is doing surprisingly well, especially in the opening scene. The CGI is fairly well mastered, like the character of an incandescent Jean Gray. In photography, Kinberg knows how to surround himself since he calls upon Mauro Fiore, Oscar winner for his work in Avatar. The light effects are quite well done and some scenes are worth a look.

In the casting, Sophie Turner is quite convincing, at least when she does not pour into the melodramatic. As usual, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy deliver a real performance, and it was not obvious given the script. The film struggles to bring the other protagonists to life, who find themselves in the background, QuickSilver as the leader of the forgotten in the scenario. We will also take the example of Cyclops, who despite his relationship with Jean Gray, only appears at rare moments. On the side of the antagonists, it is shipwreck. Jessica Chastain doesn’t frighten anyone in the role of the Nemesis, not even the characters themselves.

Between the drama and the fantasy film, Dark Phoenix does not find its place. The film has all the good intentions in the world, but does not perform miracles. Even if we feel this desire of the writers to explore the psyche of the characters, Dark Phoenix ultimately remains only on the surface. From vengeful fury to identity crisis, the film had all the cards in hand, but was wrong in its strategy.

It’s the last one. Even in a line full of retcons and reboots, second chances as literal as this one — the same source material as a previous movie in the same series, Nobody gets to do that.

I want this to be a story about second chances.

This is not that story.

At its heart, The Dark Phoenix Saga — the legendary comics arc on which Dark Phoenix is based — is a story about Jean Grey.

acted upon by outside forces.