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X-Men: Dark Phoenix review – should have stopped three films ago

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If the myth was to rise from a pile of ashes, it could be this film.

X-Men, we all know it, we all know the different generations of it and to be honest, it might need a new iteration or should have just stopped three films ago. X-Men: Dark Phoenix takes us back to the storyline of X-Men: The Last Stand, with added tween bits and aliens.

Sophie Turner takes the leading role as a mutant that, you guessed it, is more powerful than she could ever imagine, especially when she gets consumed by a fireball in space. As she goes about trying to find herself like some out of control gap student, she visits communes, her old town and New York City, leaving trails of devastation and undoing all the good work that mutants had done in the previous years.

Noticing that Jean Grey is just a red herring and the real threat is in (the criminally) written Jessica Chastain and her army of aliens that are properly hard to kill.

Meanwhile, mutants must come together to kill the aliens to save the humans, even though if the mutants brokered a deal with the aliens, they could get rid of the humans and not have to deal with us annoying muggles who can’t pause time, fly or do anything useful. I would have rather it gone that direction.

Instead, it follows the comics, it follows the tropes, it follows the same drawn out, “you’re not weird, you’re special, you could kill everyone, but you’re alright kid, it’s not your fault” nonsense that’s been saturated over the last 20 years.

The original X-Men pushed comic book films, although dated, feels somehow fresher and human than this churned out step in the octrilogy that X-Men will soon become.

The main annoyance is that such a great cast are pigeonholed into 2D characters that, although we have their backstories rammed down our throats, still carry no weight. Chastain, Fassbender, McAvoy, Lawrence: stars that don’t even need their first names are just bleh. The dialogue is weak, the scenes are flat and the decisions made are worse than the decision to green-light this movie.

Characters come and go and it really doesn’t matter in these films. They’re all meant to have died in X-Men: Days of Future Past – and it really should have stayed that way.

I’m annoyed because I love this cast and I love what director, Simon Kinberg has written and produced before, but you can tell this is a directorial debut. He didn’t know what to do with all this talent. I wanted to like this, but it was full and played out.

Don’t bother.

The audience at the cinema were the plus point. That’s about it. 1/5.

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