Fim Review: X-men: Dark Phoenix
PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:00 18 June 2019
Mark Goodin reviews the latest X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Having served as screenwriter for X-Men: Last Stand and as writer or producer for all the following films in the franchise, it seems fitting that Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut with the latest and reportedly last film in 20th Centruy Fox's X-Men series. Based on Chris Clairmont and John Byrne's comic narrative of the same name, the film sees Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), while on a space rescue mission with her fellow X-Men, imbued with cosmic powers which transform her into one of the most powerful mutants on Earth. We have, of course, seen this storyline before in the much derided X-Men: The Last Stand. Thankfully, Kinberg's adaptation is more successful second time around, generating a palpable sense of unease as Jean's increasingly destructive actions see her pursued by friend and foe including Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Much like that previous film however, the director overloads his film with so many action set-pieces that the central drama often feels ramshackle and, at times, incoherent. The characters are less clearly defined, too, with many - notably Quicksilver (Evan Peters) - given so little to do that they barely register. Nevertheless, Turner is magnificent as Jean, delivering an intelligent performance which perfectly captures her complex internal conflict. Fine support also comes in the form of Fassbender's intense, vengeance-driven anti-hero and Jessica Chastain's otherworldly antagonist. While it lacks the impact of previous, far superior outings like Logan, this is still a mature, satisfying conclusion to the X-Men saga.