Dark Phoenix: cliched conclusion of the mutant saga
Dark Phoenix (also known as X-Men: Dark Phoenix) is a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics X-Men characters, produced by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the twelfth instalment in the X-Men film series, a direct sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and the seventh and final instalment in the main X-Men series. The film is written and directed by Simon Kinberg and stars an ensemble cast featuring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain.
In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men must face the full power of the Phoenix after a mission in space goes wrong. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 22% based on 221 reviews, with an average rating of 4.58/10. The site’s critics’ consensus reads, “Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc – with deeply disappointing results.” It is the lowest-rated instalment of the X-Men franchise on the website. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “B–” on an A+ to F scale, the lowest score of the series, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 69% (with an average 3 out of 5 stars) and a 49% “definite recommend”. Writing for TheWrap, William Bibbiani said of the film: “It would be wonderful to report that Dark Phoenix was an impressive send-off to this long-running franchise...
Instead it’s just a disappointingly average superhero flick, with a familiar story, disinterested actors, some cool action sequences, and a whole lot of missed opportunities.” Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars and said, “It’s hard to even rent an opinion on the discrete strengths and weaknesses of a franchise that has devolved to the point of Dark Phoenix, a lavishly brutal chore nearly as violent as the Wolverine movie Logan and a movie featuring more death by impalement and whirling metal than all the Saw movies put together.”