X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Length: 113 minutes / 1.88 hours
I’m all for more faithful adaptations of stories into film. However, in long-running series like the X-Men franchise, I can’t help but wonder if efforts could have been spent on different storylines instead of trying to fix past mistakes. I know the “Dark Phoenix” saga is one of the best in the X-Men series, but after X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) tried to fill the gap of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) created by the ret-con in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), I can honestly say I preferred the version in The Last Stand.
Up until now, I’ve been okay with the “First Class” set of prequels. They have taken an alternate history approach to lay out the lore of the X-Men, which I like. The problem with Dark Phoenix is that—after covering three decades in the last three films—the timeline finally caught up with the original trilogy. It was fun to see alternate history JFK or Richard Nixon deal with the threats of the mutants, but there are no historical trappings of Dark Phoenix to tie anything to. It’s just a generic “in the not-to-distant past” that could have taken place at any time and any place.
While certain characters like Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Hank McCoy (Nicholaus Hoult), and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) are still great interpretations, it was apparent that the rest of the cast was phoning it in. It was almost like they knew it was the last in the series, and they wouldn’t have to play these roles anymore (Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique really gave off this vibe). Additionally, the underutilized Quicksilver (Evan Peters) was a crying shame, considering his sequences in the previous two films (Days of Future Past, especially) were the best parts of those movies.
A rebirth of a storyline that should have stayed dead, I give X-Men: Dark Phoenix 2.0 stars out of 5.