X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Dir. Simon Kinberg / Dur. 114 min.
In A Nutshell:- Having erased the previous attempt at the Dark Phoenix (in the lamentable Last Stand), it’s time for Version 2.0.
The Good:- A while back I determined that I would try to remain positive in my reviews of stuff as no one ever sets out to make a bad film. I’m struggling with this one, though, I have to admit. There are some enjoyable action sequences, notably with the use of Nightcrawler (who, from X2 onwards, has always made for an enjoyably frantic action scene), and McAvoy and Fassbender are always enjoyable to watch as Professor X and Magneto. The film moves along at a reasonable pace and doesn’t outstay its welcome. It didn't leave me with the overwhelming feeling of boredom which Apocalypse engendered.
The Bad:- Equally, though, it’s not there is a lot that’s bad with the film, either. Jennifer Lawrence seems largely bored and Sophie Turner, for me, doesn’t quite have the chops to pull this off.
The Verdict:- It’s a better film than Apocalypse but it’s an oddly flat and anti-climactic way to bring a close to a franchise. Things happen, they kind of go the way you would expect them to and then it just sort of ends. For a franchise that has been running for the best part of two decades (and has, quite frankly, a sense of continuity that has been made up with each passing film), it’ s disappointing way for it to go out and it feels like it should have ended either with bigger spectacle or a greater emotional heft (or preferably both). It’s also unfortunate in that it inevitably suffers from comparison to Avengers Endgame when it comes to closing out a long-running chapter of an ongoing story and also comes up lacking. An unfortunate way to go out.
* Alright, it’ll be thirteen when the long-delayed New Mutants finally comes out next year...if it comes out….