Top 5 Reasons Why 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' Left Us Wanting More
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of MYX.
Allow me to be perfectly honest right off the bat: X-Men: Dark Phoenix was good, but it wasn't the conclusion to Fox's 19-year run with the mutant franchise I was expecting. After X-Men: Days of Future Past did a "soft reboot" to the entire series and seemingly corrected the wrongs of the original X-Men trilogy (most especially X-Men: The Last Stand's telling of the Phoenix saga), you would think they've sorted everything out. But seeing how X-Men: Apocalypse turned out to be, clearly, that wasn't the case.
Was 'Dark Phoenix' faultless? Absolutely not. But by no means was the film a snoozefest. In fact, I enjoyed it a lot better than its predecessor and it had me glued to the movie screen pretty much the entirety of the film. It wasn't too "all over the place" like 'Apocalypse' (which is a good thing), but considering it was the final installment in the Foxverse, I gotta say it left me wanting more. While it's still a pretty solid flick, I still had several issues with 'Dark Phoenix' and here are some of them.
1. It doesn't feel like a superhero film at all. It may sound absurd but it's true. The film feels like a sci-fi thriller more than anything—a far cry from the formula the past X-Men films used. If that was their goal all along, I guess they succeeded, but the real question is: was the approach a welcome change? It's for the viewers to decide.
2. Jean Grey's "Phoenix Force" wasn't used to its full potential. In her Phoenix form, Jean Grey is, without a doubt, one of the most destructive forces in the X-Men universe. The film sees the demise of the shapeshifting mutant Mystique at the hands of Grey, but other than that and a couple of scenes where she puts her godlike powers on display, she doesn't really feel all that menacing. I feel like she could've done more with her enhanced abilities. Nevertheless, Sophie Turner still played the part superbly.
3. Who exactly was the villain? Jessica Chastain appears in the film as its main antagonist but who is she exactly and what are her extra-terrestrial minions called? It wasn't explained in the film and even if you were a longtime follower of the series, you would find yourself scratching your head a bit.
4. Where, oh, where was Wolverine? Hugh Jackman's "Weapon X" cameo scene in 'Apocalypse' left the door open for a potential appearance in 'Dark Phoenix' but he was nowhere to be seen in the film. Yes, I'm well aware it's supposed to be centered on Jean Grey's newfound powers but they still could've used a little help from the cigar-smoking, adamantium-clawed X-Men vet and delivered die-hards some much-needed fan service, but they chose not to.
5. The film could've been a two-parter. The Phoenix saga is one of the most compelling story arcs in Marvel comics history, but the Sophie Turner starrer blew off its potential. They should've taken a page out of the '90s animated X-Men series' playbook which was famous for its cliffhangers instead of trying to squeeze in everything in one full-length flick. Take, for instance, the Avengers' Infinity saga. Part of its success was due to the fact that Marvel Studios didn't rush the central storyline and divided it into two separate films—'Infinity War' and 'Endgame'—which made for a more interesting plot to work on.
'Dark Phoenix' may not have been the fitting send-off fans deserved but if you're a true blue X-Men fan, you still owe it to yourself to see the final chapter unfold right before your eyes. That being said, we can't wait to see what Kevin Feige does to the mutant franchise now that they're MCU-bound. For now, let's all bid the Foxverse farewell.