It’s as if this step was one everyone knew was too far, but the inevitability of it pushed it over the edge
How far should a franchise be pushed? It’s already been announced that Dark Phoenix is the last instalment of the X-Men’s long tenure as a solo superhero franchise, but it gets to a point where squeezing the lemon just gives out hand cramps. Dark Phoenix is a step off a cliff, watching the franchise drop exponentially from where it was in the early 2010’s. Boasting a particularly empty story line, there are plenty of far better hero outings that offer a much cleaner, more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
When a space mission goes horribly wrong, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) is exposed to a mysterious unearthly power, seemingly sucking it into her body. Showing no signs of strange
behaviour, Jean carries on as normal, until she suddenly explodes with power and rage, running from those trying to support her, creating a divide in the X-Men unlike any they have experienced before.
Dark Phoenix’s major issues come from it’s story creation. There’s a sense that a decision was made to make the next X-Men film ‘the one about Jean Grey’ but failed to offer anything on a level deeper than that. Dark Phoenix’s story line is impossibly rushed, almost seeming like a short five act play, with static settings and very little character development. It’s as if this step was one everyone knew was too far, but the inevitability of it pushed it over the edge.
Naturally, the cast come up trumps, with stars as strong as James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence they always would, but the lack of quality they are given via the script is p
articularly disappointing. Their consistency over such an extended period of time has perhaps lulled any creator into a false sense of security, but offer some of the world’s greatest actors a poor script, and they will only make themselves look good. They’re quality will always highlight that poor of a script.
Drop in a lacklustre story with very little actually going on, and Dark Phoenix becomes a landfill superhero film with no joy to hand out. It’s a negative, unnerving story anyway, and without character progression or exhilarating action, it becomes a dumping ground for second rate ideas and weak motifs.
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