I managed to make it to Cinetopia… a er, I mean AMC to see Dark Phoenix. They have re-branded the whole theater in AMC red, accept the entrance marquee still says Cinetopia 23. Oh well on to the movie, shall we?
This is the finale for 20th Century Fox and the X-Men. Recently the Mickey Mouse Club annexed Fox, I mean, Disney acquired Fox to get the rights to an assortment of Marvel based intellectual property, oh and some other stuff like the Simpsons, Family Guy, Married with Children, you know quality family programming in the spirit of Walt Disney. Wait a minute… that can’t be right, can it? Yes, yes it is as a matter of fact.
Ok anyhow, this is the swan song for 20th Century Fox and the X-men, the last of a long string of films, some pretty good others not so much. Now from high above us in the lofty heights beyond the pearly gates, Stan Lee is grinning… The reunification of the Marvel Universe is nearly complete.
Wow I am off on tangents today, pulling back to center now… So Dark Phoenix is the conclusion to the retro-boot semi-prequel series of films about the X-men. So remember Fox gave us X-Men in 2000 a film that has slid down the list over the years but is still a solid movie. Then they did a sequel X-Men 2 in 2003 and that was a great movie. It is hard to go wrong with a pair of knighted actors in the protagonist / antagonist roles, you know? Sir Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto. The the third film introduced us to the Dark Phoenix in 2006 and they kind of botched the story of the Phoenix but they had the control and dark side well vetted.
Anyhow this film isn’t really a part of those films is it? In 2011 there was a retro-reboot-prequel series of films starting with the absolutely brilliant X-men First Class, the best X-men film ever made. I just couldn’t get enough of Kevin Bacon’s delicious villain. Followed by X-Men Days of Future Past in 2014 which was a mediocre film but I still like it because it blended the old guys with the new guys pretty nicely and it had some genuinely funny moments. The third installment ‘Apocalypse’ shows us a peeksy at Jean Grey’s growing power in 2016 but it was nothing like the comics and that movie wasn’t really that good.
Now we arrive in 2019 with this finale. No big spoilers but a few tiny spoilers ahead.
We start with a back story in 1975 of little girl Jean Grey and an incident in which she was inadvertently the cause of a traumatic accident. She ends up in the care of none other than young Professor X, complete with a full head of thick, long and wavy hair. Fast forward to the present, which is actually the late 1980s near as I can tell and Jean is a full grown woman and a member of the X-men. Now if I’m honest, I liked the movie but there are some serious plot holes. First in the previous film they kind of suggested she already had the Phoenix Force with her unleashing to end Apocalypse, yet in this film they almost ignore the end of the last film and show her merging with the phoenix Force properly (as per the comics at least).
I don’t want to bash on this movie because I do kind of like it. But it is not really up to snuff with several of the previous installments and definitely rides the mediocrity bus to the finish line of the Marvel based films from 20th Century Fox. I’d like to say the film needs more ‘cowbell’ but in this case it needed Wolverine who was rather conspicuous by his absence.
I said in the title it was an end, described above and a beginning. Well since Marvel now owns the movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. That sounds like a helluva new beginning!
Take a look at the all time list you’ll find this one floating about somewhere near the middle.