X-Men: Dark Phoenix Movie Review

Adreana Wilson, Staff

X-Men: Dark Phoenix released this summer on June 5 in theatres in the United States. The film is the ending of the X-Men film franchise. The movie is based on the 1980 comic book “Dark Phoenix Saga” written by Chris Claremont. The movie starred Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) as Jean Grey, Jessica Chastain (It) as Smith, James McAvoy (Glass) as Professor Ex, and Michael Fasbender (Assassin’s Creed) as Magneto. The film was written and directed by Simon Kinberg. 

The film takes place in the 1990s. Astronauts are stuck in space with no way home, so the president calls in the X-Men. The X-Men go into space to rescue these astronauts. In the process, what is assumed to be solar flare threatens to destroy the X-Men’s ship. While in the broken space shuttle, Jean Grey uses her telekinetic abilities to direct the solar flare into her so that she can save her friends. She is taken back to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to make sure she is unharmed. Jean’s powers are found to be stronger than before. She starts having flashbacks and realizes that Xavier had previously implanted “walls” into her mind so that she does not remember the crash that devastated her family. Jean goes and finds her still-living father to get answers as to why he gave her up. The X-Men find her and she ends up accidentally killing Mystique an argument. Jean goes to meet with Magneto at a refuge for mutants to find help. Soldiers come for Jean and she uses her telekinetic powers to crash their helicopter. Magneto makes her leave, and she meets a shapeshifter alien named Smith who wants to use her powers to restart his race and culture on Earth. Smith teaches Jean how to use her powers in new ways and turns her into a weapon to try to get rid of mutants. Once Jean finds out Smith’s true intentions, she uses the Phoenix Force inside of her to finish Smith off. 

This movie was originally written to be a two-part film, but had to be cut down to one. With that in mind, I think that the movie was well directed and well written. The special effects were very good. The CGI was good when it came to portraying the X-Men’s powers. However, it was easy to tell when the characters were on wires when they were flying. It was like they were just pulled up into the sky instead of flying. The special effects portraying Jean Grey’s powers were very well done. However, the more cosmic portrayal of Jean Grey’s powers did not stay true to the fire design of the original comic book character. I would have liked to have seen the classic Phoenix design from the comic books than a more “galaxy-looking” portrayal of the Phoenix Force. 

The action sequences were fantastic. They kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The action sequences were very well choreographed with the use of mutant powers combined with some hand-to-hand combat. 

As for comic book accuracy, the movie is not comic book accurate. There are many elements missing from the film that the comic book series had such as the mentions of the Hell Fire Club, the illusion of romance in the past by Mastermind, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard trying to capture Jean, and Jean sacrificing herself to get rid of the Phoenix Force. I understand that not all comic book elements can be brought into films, but I feel like the story that Dark Phoenix was based on was not told at all. The movie seemed to be telling more of a Scarlet Witch story than a Jean Grey story because Jean’s powers are not connected to her emotions in the comic book and Scarlet Witch’s powers are. 

Overall, the film was enjoyable to watch. If you just like the movies and not the comic books, I would recommend this movie for you. If you are a die-hard comic book fan, I would not recommend this movie for you because it is not much like its source. My overall rating for X-Men: Dark Phoenix is a 6/10 simply because the design changed for Jean’s powers, the flying could be better, and the movie is not very accurate to the comic book. X-Men: Dark Phoenix is digitally available now and will be released September 17th on DVD and Blu-Ray if you want to check it out.