X-Men Franchise Goes Down In Flames With Unfaithful ‘Dark Phoenix’

The Federalist | 6/7/2019 | James Dawson
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If Marvel’s gargantuan “Infinity Gauntlet” epic had been downsized to a strip mall jewelry store heist for the movies, the result couldn’t be more disappointing than the painfully squandered opportunity called “Dark Phoenix.”

This embarrassingly wasted second chance to get the X-Men comics’ most venerated old-school storyline right is so thoroughly wrong it seems intentionally insulting. Make no mistake, those 1970s comics certainly weren’t great literature, but being this unfaithful to their well-known details is downright disrespectful.

Fan - Continuity - Quality - Century - Fox

Every fan frustrated by the botched continuity and inconsistent quality of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise should be delighted that any future films featuring the characters will be produced under the Marvel Studios banner, now that Disney owns Fox.

Some elements of the no-happy-ending comics storyline called “Dark Phoenix,” in which telekinetic mutant Jean Grey gets a massive power boost that makes her go very bad, were already employed in 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” co-written by Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. The natural assumption was that this rebooted do-over—written and directed by Kinberg alone, using the actual title of the classic comics arc—would be more faithful to the source material. Otherwise, why bother?

Exercise - Soap-opera - Excess - Series - Earthbound

Instead, what should have been a space-spanning, melodramatically tearjerking, and strangely kinky exercise in superhero soap-opera excess has been reduced to a dismal series of generic Earthbound brawls spiced up with a non-canon character’s demise.

Isn’t Jean Supposed to Be a Killer?

Comics - Member - Jean - Disinterest - Game

In the comics, founding X-Men member Jean (played here with morose disinterest by “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner) kills five billion aliens by causing their sun to supernova when she uses it to re-charge her Phoenix powers. The tragedy of the tale is that Jean, even if under the influence of uncontrollable urges, really is responsible for the act. What she has done attracts the attention of no less than three alien...
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