X-Men: Dark Phoenix (aKa Dark Phoenix) is a 2019 superhero film written, produced & directed by Simon Kinberg (Producer from the X-Men franchise, Deadpool 1/2, Logan, Jumper, The Gifted, Chappie, Legion, Star Wars Rebels, & The Twilight Zone). It’s the twelfth installment of the franchise & a direct sequel to 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. It’s based on the “The Dark Phoenix Saga” from Chris Claremont & John Byrne. The same material that X-Men: The Last Stand was inspired by but this adaptation is more faithful to the original comic. It was produced by Stan Lee (The Avengers franchise, Iron Man franchise, Captain America franchise, Thor franchise, Spider-Man franchise, Blade franchise, Fantastic Four franchise, Wolverine franchise, & X-men franchise), Josh McLaglen (X-Men franchise, Logan, Constantine, Beowulf, & Avatar) & Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men franchise, Wolverine franchise, Deadpool 1/2, Legion, The Gifted, Pretty in Pink, Assassins, & Any Given Sunday). The budget was $200 million & it grossed $252.4 million worldwide at the box office.
In 1975, eight-year-old Jean Grey & her parents get into a car accident that kills her mother. Professor Charles Xavier (played by: James McAvoy from the X-Men franchise, Split / Glass, Filth, & IT: Chapter Two) takes her to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. In 1992, nine years after the worldwide chaos caused by En Sabah Nur, the X-Men are seen as heroes by the public. The President (played by: Brian d’Arcy James from The Kitchen, First Man, 1922, & Molly’s Game) summons them for assistance during a crisis & responds to a distress signal from the space shuttle Endeavour, which is critically damaged by a solar flare-like energy during the STS-49 mission. While the X-Men which includes Mystique (played by: Jennifer Lawrence from the X-Men franchise, The Hunger Games franchise, American Hustle, & Silver Linings Playbook), Beast (played by: Nicholas Hoult from the X-Men franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, Warm Bodies, & Kill Your Friends), Cyclops (played by: Tye Sheridan from the X-Men franchise, Ready Player One, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, & Mud), Storm (played by: Alexandra Shipp from the X-Men franchise, Shaft, Tragedy Girls, & Straight Outta Compton), Quicksilver (played by: Evan Peters from the X-Men franchise, American Horror Story, Kick-Ass, & The Lazarus Effect), Nightcrawler (played by: Kodi Smit-McPhee from the X-Men franchise, Dolemite Is My Name, The Road, & Let Me In), & Jean Grey (played by: Sophie Turner from the X-Men franchise, Game of Thrones, Josie, & Barely Lethal) save all of the astronauts. Jean is stranded & is struck by the energy which she absorbs into her body to save the X-Men’s aircraft from destruction.
Jean survives the event and her psychic powers are greatly amplified as a result but they become uncontrollable & she accidentally unleashes her power on the mutants celebrating at Xavier’s school. It is revealed that Xavier had placed mental walls in Jean’s mind as a little girl to protect her psychic mind from experiencing trauma. These mental walls are destroyed by Jean’s enhanced power & the trauma slowly returns. Which makes her full of desire, rage, & pain. She then travels to her childhood hometown after finding out that her father (played by: Scott Shepherd from True Detective & Hostiles) is still alive & learned that he abandoned her. Jean recovers her complete memory of the car accident & remembers that she had inadvertently caused it rendering her mother unconscious at the wheel with her telepathy, which causes her to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. The X-Men arrive & attempt to take Jean home but she causes damage that she can never take away before flying away. Jean travels to the mutant refugee island of Genosha to seek assistance from Magneto (played by: Michael Fassbender from the X-Men franchise, Prometheus, Alien: Covenant, & Inglourious Basterds) in controlling her rage but is turned away by Erik after she engages in combat with U.S. military forces tasked with her arrest. Jean meets Vuk (played by: Jessica Chastain from IT: Chapter Two, Zero Dark Thirty. Crimson Peak, & A Most Violent Year), the leader of a shape-shifting alien race known as the D’Bari. The X-Men, Hank “Beast” McCo, & Magneto are all looking for Jean Grey. They are trying to stop her before it’s too late. Vuk is bringing out The Dark Phoenix & putting bad thoughts in Jean’s head. Can they save her & the world before all hell breaks loose????
Dark Phoenix is a much better adaptation compared to the previous The Last Stand. I am actually surprised that it got so many bad reviews & barely broke even at the box office. I will say that it’s one of those films that you should check out for yourself rather than judging from a review including mine right here because there’s so much more to it. If Jean Grey is your favorite X-men character then you are going to love this one because it adds so much to the role here. Sophie Turner gives her best performance from the series in Dark Phoenix. She shines in this, I am hoping to see more of her in the future. since this version of X-Men & Game of Thrones both ended at the same time. Just a warning, Jennifer Lawrence has a very small role so don’t expect lots of screen time from the actress in this. The supporting cast that includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tye Sheridan, & Jessica Chastain were great as always. They really boosted the overall production. Jessica Chastain usually never plays a villain but she gave the powerful X-Men a run for their money with her relentless turn here. It was a nice change of pace for the franchise. Dark Phoenix had a fascinating story line & it delivered on all the action plus fights that you would expect from a superhero flick. The visual effects were top notch. It had a dark tone to it which made it even more interesting. I always enjoyed that these movies were so much different compared to the other Marvel films so it will be interesting to see the reboot version backed by Disney in the future. I do like the possibility of a collaboration with the Avengers someday. This wasn’t my favorite X-Men adaptation or film from the series but it’s definitely far from being the worst one. Every X-Men should add this to their collection, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from 20th Century Fox! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks amazing , I can only imagine what the 4K looks like! Visually, I think this is one of the best in the X-Men series. The last few films have really stepped up in that department. The X-Men films really stand out from the other superhero features out there when it comes to their cinematic style. It has 3 different options for audio which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, & French: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the release. The dialogue is crystal clear, all the action is elevated here, & the music has a nice boost to it. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles. Both picture & sound are top notch on this blu ray release, it’s a fun home theater experience!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from 20th Century Fox on this release! “Audio Commentary” with director Simon Kinberg & producer Hutch Parker. They chat about many of the same things that are featured in the Rise of the Phoenix documentary. They go into great detail about the whole production. Simon Kinberg talks about his first time experience as a director after being a writer & producer for so long. 5 “Deleted Scenes” that’s a little over 8 minutes which includes Edwards Air Force Base, Charles Returns Home, Mission Prep, Beast MIA, & Charles Says Goodbye. It has optional audio commentary from director Simon Kinberg & producer Hutch Parker. “Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix” is a full length making of documentary on the sequel that’s a little over 80 minutes. It’s broken down into 5 different segments. It has interviews with director Simon Kinberg, actors Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Evan Peters, Michael Fassbender, Alexandra Shipp, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, other cast, & various members of the production. They chat about the original source material & classic comics. They go over the story line & concept for The Dark Phoenix. They talk about Simon Kinberg going from writer to first time director for this. They mention this being Sophie Turner first real lead role in a major motion picture. They bring up her dedication & research to the character. They chat about the other main characters, cast, & their roles in this sequel. They bring up the more obscure Dazzler(played by: Halston Sage from Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, The Orville, & Neighbors), Ariki (played by: Andrew Stehlin from 30 Days of Night, Killer Elite, & Ghost in the Shell), & Selene (played by: Kota Eberhardt from The I-Land) characters being involved in this feature. They chat about the production design, visuals, & locations. They point out the differences & what sub-genres the last few Fox Marvel films fit into. They talk about becoming a family after working together for so long. This documentary is beyond detailed about the entire production of The Dark Phoenix. I was very impressed by it, one of the best features that I’ve seen in awhile. “How to Fly Your Jet To Space With Beast” is a little over 2 minutes, it’s a fun little extra with actor Nicholas Hoult. It has 3 different “Trailers” for the film. It also has a slipcover & a digital code. It was released on 4K & DVD besides this blu ray release. It’s available everywhere including store exclusives right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!