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'Dark Phoenix' Review with Casey

Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix is a prequel in the series of X-Men superhero films that started in 2000 with the first movie titled X-Men. With this being the 10th film in the series, it's a strong reminder that not all chapters are good ones and not all entries in a saga are winners (much like my sex life). 

Dark Phoenix centers around the character Jean Grey (a fragile Sophie Turner, Games of Thrones, 2011-2019), a quiet member of the X-Men team of superheroes. During a rescue mission in space, Jean absorbs a mysterious cloud of solar flares which soon intensifies her powers to an uncontrollable level of destruction and death. 

The X-Men films are notable comic book adaptations because they're not afraid to embrace diversity or the darker side of power. And these films were the first contemporary superhero films to blur the lines between good and evil and address topical social issues at the same time (long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was doing so). With such a platform to explore interesting characters and story lines, Dark Phoenix fails to deliver nothing more than a couple of well-choreographed action scenes and dramatic close-ups of beautiful actors faces including a diplomatic Jennifer Lawrence (Mother!, 2017), a wooden Michael Fassbender (Alien: Covenant, 2017), and an underused Evan Peters (American Animals, 2018). 

Too many characters changing their minds about saving or destroying each other (and saving or destroying the world), hurried character development, and poorly written lines made Dark Phoenix a disappointment with only a few bits of fun. It also didn't help to throw in confusing moments that don't even line up with the series of events in the numerous other X-Men films. I was only entertained during parts of the film; the rest of the time I was confused or dissatisfied. 

Casey T. Allen is a native of Utah who graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree in English in 2007. He has worked in many capacities throughout USU campus and enjoys his time at UPR to continually exercise his writing.