X-Men: Dark Phoenix brings the curtains down on the decade long X-Men franchise.
Reshoots aren't always a death knell for a blockbuster movie, but in the case of Dark Phoenix, they certainly made for a rebirth of sorts. Dark Phoenix, on the other hand, does anything but, and even manages to distinguish itself as a less entertaining film than some of the more miserly offerings in the franchise, such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2006's The Last Stand.
Since her character is fighting between two personalities (Jean Grey and Dark Phoenix) throughout the film, Sophie Turner had to find ways to fully embody someone living with mental illness. During the fight, the army intervenes, capturing every X-Man involved along with Jean herself with power neutralizing collars. That's what I was going for with Dark Phoenix's ending even though it then might have looked like Captain Marvel for about two minutes. Built around a neatly constructed tension and the looming spectre of dissension in the X-Men's ranks, the interpersonal relationships between the characters prove to be way more gripping than the lion's share of the combat or depictions of each mutant's powers.
This Summer, 20th Century Fox's X-Men series will take another shot at trying to adapt the classic Marvel Comics story "The Dark Phoenix Saga" by Chris Claremont. With Jean and the Phoenix Force gone, the government seems to be back on great terms with the mutants (never mind the shockingly high human body count), meaning everyone is apparently just fine and dandy to head back to Westchester and get their affairs in order. Either way, it's the end of Fox's X-Men franchise as we know it, now that Fox has been bought by Disney and the X-Men are likely to be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Queen of the North slays as Jean Grey (portrayed by Famke Janssen in the O.G. trilogy) in Dark Phoenix.
While the film has received mixed reviews, Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey, has been lauded.
With the actress having to play a powerful mutant with telepathic and telekinetic powers, a lot of work went into her preparing for the role.
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Sure, there are some fights - majority internecine, as various X-Men start to doubt the leadership of Charles, a powerful clairvoyant who is revealed to have tinkered with Jean's mind as a child.
That MCU explosion has left the trailblazing X-Men somewhat underappreciated, even as the series has stayed creatively fresh.
Bafflingly, the significant bit of Phoenix-centric groundwork that was laid out in X-Men: Apocalypse goes unaddressed, in favour of a subplot that draws inspiration both from Marvel's comics and from X-Men: The Last Stand. New Mutants notwithstanding, this was the last chance the studio had to create something memorable with these characters we've spent so much time with.
The final moment of Dark Phoenix sees a large firebird appear over the Earth.
Rating explained: "Dark Phoenix" is rated PG-13 for some dark and violent action content, as well as scattered profanity, including a single use of the "F-word" that feels odd for a comic book movie.
Jennifer Lawrence and Sophie Turner in Dark Phoenix, Twentieth Century Fox, 2019.