Sophie Turner as Dark Phoenix (Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)
California School of the Arts

‘Dark Phoenix’ The End of the X-Men Franchise?

The next addition in a line of 11 films comes “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” where the family Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) worked tirelessly to form is ripped apart when Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) encounters an unnatural solar flare while rescuing astronauts from a space shuttle. Overtime, her powers become more and more unstable, and she realizes that she is harnessing a power stronger than ever before. When truths and lies are revealed, the X-Men must fight against a newly formed Dark Phoenix, causing destruction in the streets and risking their accepted place in the world as “superheroes.”

The action sequences are nothing less of what fans of the X-Men expect. With intense train battles, in-the-city combat, and mystical forces clashing, we were able to see each superhuman show off their own abilities in their own way. X-Men’s main theme, throughout the series, is the theme of identity. To find their place in the world, they must battle the hate and animosity of the people because of their fear. In this film, the theme continues, except it is focused on the dynamic of the X-Men family.

Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix (Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Although the movie tried its best to raise the stakes and the intensity, some lines meant to be filled with rage and anger instead fell off as jokes, with some audience members laughing. Even the climax of the film, the turning point of some characters came across as way too simple. Admittedly, it was exciting to see some of my favorite characters back in action, like Nightcrawler (Kodi Smith-McPhee) or Magneto (Michael Fassbender), a complex character with incredible powers trying to figure out where his morality stands.

As much as we love Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and his iconic scenes running through danger and making time stand still, we don’t get to see too much of him in the movie. In truth, the film barely addresses his absence in some of the most intense action scenes. From “Apocalypse”, Quicksilver learns that Magneto is his father, but unfortunately, this character arc remains unsolved. While I do not think this was the right film to address this issue, it left the audience wanting much more.

Overall, it is an exciting, fast-paced adventure that takes a look into some of our characters’ past actions, helping them realize their wrongs and enforcing the themes of good versus evil, prejudice, and overcoming internal struggles. “Dark Phoenix” leaves many questions unanswered that can hopefully be addressed in the next installment. Currently, it is still unclear if “X-Force” will go into production, or if “Gambit” will ever be made.

With the Walt Disney Company acquiring the rights of the “X-Men” and the “Fantastic Four” in the near future, as well as characters from “Deadpool”, I’m extremely excited to see how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will incorporate these new, completely different characters. If Dark Phoenix were to ever return, this film makes it clear that barely anybody in the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe could ever go up against her, except maybe somebody wielding all six Infinity Stones.