There’s a lot of hate surrounding Dark Phoenix. This might not be a spectacular film, but it’s certainly far from a disaster. In fact, it’s extremely entertaining.
Although it’s admittedly bizarre to see yet another X-Men movie tackle the iconic Dark Phoenix arc (the first was the messy trilogy capper X-Men: The Last Stand), this flick at least benefits from focusing fully on Jean Grey instead of making her a mere subplot. Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner is definitely up to the task, and she possesses the capable range to showcase her character’s tragic journey. It helps that the CGI really back up the Phoenix set-pieces with stunning bursts of fiery colors and impressive action sequences.
On the downside, there is unevenness when it comes to the rest of the cast. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are as game as they’ve ever been as Professor Xavier and Magnesto, but Jennifer Lawrence is a disaster as Mystique. She looks even more bored than she did in X-Men Apocalypse, which just really boggles my mind. Equally strange is Jessica Chastain’s strange turn as the film’s baddie Vuk – an extremely unwritten character who is not nearly as complex as she could have been. Blame the script for that one! Also, the less said about Alexandra Shipp’s Storm who gets two seconds of screentime, the better.
It’s impressive really that despite these flaws, Dark Phoenix is so enjoyable. It moves at a very brisk pace, and while it can’t hold a candle to something like Endgame, it ain’t no Justice League.
It’s not extaroariday by any means, but this is an entertaining X-Men flick with a ton of memorable moments.