“Dark Phoenix” proves to be a mostly dull and underwhelming chapter in the X-Men franchise. There are very few redeeming qualities to this supposed final entry in the series, but overall it feels dead in the water.
The movie once again takes place in the convoluted timespan and we’re introduced to a young Jean Grey who discovers her power of being telekinetic in perhaps one of the most forced ways possible by having her parents dying in a car accident.
Later, James McAvoy’s Professor X takes Jean under her wing at his school for mutants. At first, Jean is reluctant, but of course, she will eventually relent.
Years later, Jean joins the rest of the X-Men including Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique and Nicholas Hoult’s Beast on a space mission to rescue some astronauts and it’s there where Jean encounters a solar flare that gives her the powers of the Phoenix.
Soon after, Jean’s powers become a threat to all mutants and she tries desperately to get Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to let her join his team.
McAvoy and Turner are perhaps the bright spots and they do try to help the material, but every leap forward they make, the screenplay makes a gigantic leap backward.
The movie also could’ve benefitted more from giving us a cohesive story surrounding Jean Grey’s powers and the special effects sequences should’ve been fun instead of feeling routine and perfunctory.
This is the most disappointing entry since “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” “Logan,” “First Class,” and even the first two X-Men movies have nothing to worry about.
Perhaps the recent acquisition of Fox by Disney might suggest that this series will be redeemed. Who knows?
(Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language.)