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Some spoilers ahead.
With “Dark Phoenix,” X-Men fans must say goodbye to a franchise that has delighted, entertained, and disappointed for 19 years. From highs such as the Academy Award-nominated “Logan” to the catastrophe that was “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” you never know whether to expect a masterpiece or a terrible, unfocused mess. “Dark Phoenix,” the final installment in the beloved franchise, is decidedly the latter. It is almost astonishing how much the final installment in the X-Men franchise gets wrong.
Sagas - Times - Dark - Phoenix - Story
Adapted from one of the most beloved comic sagas of all times, “Dark Phoenix” tells the story of Jean Grey, who gets overwhelmed by a powerful force inside her, and must struggle with increasingly dark impulses.
“Dark Phoenix” writer and director Simon Kinberg co-wrote the widely despised “X-Men: The Last Stand,” so many fans questioned why he was the choice to try once more to adapt the Phoenix Saga for cinema. While he served as a cowriter on one of the best X-Men films (“Days of Future Past”) and two of the more disappointing outings (“The Last Stand,” “Apocalypse”), and produced the exceptional “X-Men First Class,” his work on the previous failure to capture the iconic Phoenix Saga justifiably concerned fans. Those already high fears were understated, as Kinberg took what didn’t work about “The Last Stand” and amplified those problems to a dramatic degree.
Problem - Stand - Inclusion - Phoenix - Saga
The problem with “The Last Stand” was the inclusion of the Phoenix Saga at all. The ideas of the existence of a mutant cure, and the questions of whether mutation was immutable or a problem that needed fixing like a disease, are a fascinating concept that deserved its own film. This quandary contained more nuance than the previous two X-Men films, superior cinematic experiences as they are, as it brings the message beyond the mere “prejudice is bad” to...
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