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Movie Review: Girl Power Not Enough to Save 'Dark Phoenix'

by Todd A. Smith

 

Sophie Turner (right) and Jessica Chastain star in “Dark Phoenix” (Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox).

 

X-Woman Turns on X-Men 

 

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In “Dark Phoenix,” Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) states that the women within the X-Men seem to always save the men from their own problems.


Therefore, Raven says that the X-Men should receive a new moniker, the X-Women.


Unfortunately, when her X-Men female colleague Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) becomes all-powerful, she uses her power to turn on the people who have represented her only family since childhood, the X-Men.


Although “Dark Phoenix” continues the momentum of the female superhero takeover, the film’s storyline produces nothing special.


Therefore, “Dark Phoenix” has to rely on its superb and appealing visuals to carry the movie.


Unfortunately, the visuals do not do enough to set “Dark Phoenix” apart from the greatness that is the “X-Men” franchise.


In “Dark Phoenix,” the girl that will become known as Phoenix (Jean) has always had her eccentricities.


Even as child in 1975, Jean was a different child.


She heard voices in her head.


She could control things with her mind.


And she could read the minds of others.


Furthermore, Jean could control the mind of others to an extent.


But when a child is still young and does not fully understand their power, those powers can lead to travesty.


On a trip with her family, Jean begs her mother to change the radio station from the classic (old school) station that her parents prefer.


Although her mother refuses to change the radio station, the radio station begins changing itself on its on.


Before her parents can realize what their daughter is doing via her mind, the voices in Jean’s head causes her parent to become distracted while behind the steering wheel.


Jean’s parent flips their car, which kills both parents instantly.


Miraculously, Jean escapes the horrific car accident without a scratch on her body and no internal injuries.


It becomes obvious to everyone that Jean is a special child who will need special supervision to reach her full potential in life.


While no families have what it takes to take care of such a special child, Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) offers to take Jean in and educate her at his school for gifted students.


At Charles’ school for different children, not only is the professor able to get his students to maximize their powers, he is able to manipulate their minds to remove the painful moments of their past and to understand their current thoughts.


Charles is able to block the memory of Jean’s horrific car accident in 1975, while channeling her powers of mind reading and other gifts.


At Charles’s school, he is training humans who are really mutants to become superheroes known as X-Men.


But is Charles more interested in protecting the world from treacherous forces or is he more interested in having the world as his oyster, enjoying the perks of celebrity?


In 1992, when the spaceship Challenger has potentially fatal problems during an outer space mission, NASA calls Houston to say that they have a problem.


However, the boys from H-Town do not solve NASA’s problem because the men and women known as the X-Men come to the rescue.


Charles sends the X-Men in the X-Jet to save the stranded humans on the Challenger.


The X-Men save all of the astronauts from the challenger with the exception of one.


When the X-Men realize that they have left the Challenger’s captain stranded on the spaceship, they have one last chance to save all of the humans before the Challenger explodes.


Jean and Scott (Tye Sheridan) lead the X-Men back into the challenger one last time to rescue the Challenger’s captain.


But when Scott returns with the captain and not Jean, many of the X-men fear that she is all but dead as the Challenger explodes into pieces in outer space.


Fortunately, Jean survives the explosion.


However, she is never the same Jean again.


She has more power than any of the X-Men can deal with, including Charles.


The professor cannot control Jean’s mind or get into her thought process anymore.


Furthermore, he cannot track her whereabouts like he can with the other X-Men.


Most importantly, Jean begins to remember events of her past that Charles had blocked out years ago.


Jean begins questioning Charles’ story that her parents died in the tragic car accident in 1995.


She then begins a quest to find out what really happened to her parents.


When she does finally find the true story about her parents, unfortunately, she turns her anger against her family, the X-Men.


Since she has been blessed, or cursed, with more power than any being on the planet, the X-Men will find it difficult to stop her wrath and protect the galaxy from Jean’s anger.


Furthermore, when Jean links up with Vuk (Jessica Chastain), who is hell-bent on destroying Earth, the world is truly at the mercy of Phoenix.


“Dark Phoenix” is not a bad movie.


However, with the success of Marvel, it pales in comparison because the storyline is a little too bland to become truly appetizing.


It needs Tabasco sauce, or some other form of hot sauce.


But filmmakers made the film for those who do not like spicy food.


Unfortunately, when a person has had spice in their life they cannot go back to the mundane because they have had too much excitement in their life.


Luckily, “Dark Phoenix” fills the bland plate with a lot of splendid decoration that takes attention from the basic meal.


The graphics in “Dark Phoenix” are fire.


While the movie “Dark Phoenix” does not rise from the ashes like a phoenix, the fire still smolders a little bit because of the tremendous visuals.


Furthermore, “Dark Phoenix” benefits from an all-star cast including Michael Fassbender.


But the women like Lawrence, Chastain and Turner get the most love.


However, the women of “Dark Phoenix” do not do enough to make the movie lovable despite the current female superhero takeover.

 


REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR


This article was published on Friday 07 June, 2019.
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