Annlyel shares her opinion on the final movie from the 20th Century Fox mutant franchise
I saw the trailers for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. I didn’t think they were that bad. I saw the searing reviews for the film that painted awful pictures of a film filled with bad acting and a lame story that put people off big time. That deterred me from wanting to see the movie in the movie theaters and it wasn’t until it arrived on HBO that I decided to give it a chance. I sat in my living room watching the hour and fifty-three-minute movie waiting for the movie to get really, really dumb. (I’ve seen plenty of films that have done just that. X-Men: Apocalypse is one of those movies.) And guess what? It never did!
I sat back against the sofa with scrunched eyebrows, took a deep breath, and soaked in the fact that I actually liked this movie. After a recent second viewing of the film following my personal X-Men binge-watch party, the movie was even more enjoyable! I was stunned. Why did people hate this film so much?
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Fans said the acting was atrocious. Honestly, it pretty much felt the same as all of the other X-Men films. Jennifer Lawrence has always delivered a one-dimensional performance as Mystique. Nicholas Hoult has never been that great of an actor so his role in this film didn’t feel that offputting. And Sophie Turner may have an Emmy nomination for playing Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones but it’s very clear that she hasn’t had enough time to really delve into the mental trauma of this character. Remember, she just showed up in X-Men: Apocalypse. There was no middle film for her to build on her character’s emotional depth so what do you expect if she can’t bring the full range of emotional complexity needed for this role? Then again, Fassbender brought emotional depth to Magneto since the very beginning in X-Men: First Class so…
Anyway, like I said before, the acting felt pretty similar to that of other X-Men films. Once again, the most interesting characters were Professor X and Magneto who managed to deliver riveting performances as they dealt with Jean Grey in their own separate ways. For once, the action scenes felt really solid and not like horrible CGI-blobs. Some really awesome moments stood out, specifically Storm with her lightning and Magneto…as always. Jessica Chastain who plays the villain Vuk feels a bit cliché but not as cliché as the likes of Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse.
The music in this film is the best of the recent X-Men movies with Hans Zimmer delivering a powerful score that has me humming after I watch the film. And the story is easy to follow, making it one of the more riveting storylines of the franchise.
Now, I’m not an avid X-Men fan. In fact, I’m just starting to like and really get invested in the movies so my opinion is the exact opposite of an intense X-Men fanboy or girl. And I totally get why all of you that hate this film despise it so much.
To a casual viewer of The Rise of Skywalker, they would probably find the film a blast to watch. There are epic lightsaber duels, nice action scenes, plenty of humor, beautiful locations, lovable characters, and a super evil villain that brings menacing to the next level. However, as an avid Star Wars fan, I see all of the movie’s imperfections, namely the story that doesn’t make any sense and completely obliterates over forty years of hard work in the storytelling department.
To be honest, I’m thankful to be a casual X-Men fan. Yes, the best X-Men movie is undoubted, in my opinion, Logan which takes the word gritty to the next level. X-Men: Days of Future Past is also, technically, a better film than Dark Phoenix with deeper performances by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in their respective roles as Professor X and Magneto…plus Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine manages to bring a certain level of likability to the movie that isn’t available in the other recent X-Men films. However, I’m one of those people who find X-Men: Dark Phoenix, for the most part, pretty darn enjoyable and I wanted to share my opinion with you just in case you’re thinking of watching it but feel skeptical due to all of the bashing reviews of the film.
It’s honestly not that bad. Far worse movies have been made and I think you should create your own opinion of the film.
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her own blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!
Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely that of the author and do reflect the overall opinion of thefutureoftheforce.com, it’s writers, or affiliates.