REVIEW FILM: X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX (2019)

Posted under Movies On By Kania

After waiting for approximately three years, the continuation of the X-Men: Apocalypse film has finally aired. Well, myself, I had doubts that this film would be released on time, because originally, Dark Phoenix was planned to be released in 2018, but apparently, for one reason or another (yes, I’m talking about Fox acquisition by Disney), there some scenes from this film that had to be reshooted and as a result, the release schedule of this film was delayed. But, luckily, the release schedule is next year, so I’m not that stressed anymore about this project.

As an X-Men fan, I’m really excited to watch this film. But, at first, I was a little surprised by the reviews from people who had been given the opportunity to watch this film first. People say, this film is bad, not as good as expected, the performance of the actors here seems to have no taste, and so on. In fact, usually the reviews of X-Men films from the audience are good.

Out of curiosity, well, I finally watched it with a friend. Incidentally, this friend of mine is also really curious about X-Men: Dark Phoenix. We want to prove whether what the critics say is true about this.

Synopsis

On a mission to rescue a NASA crew, the X-Men team led by Raven Darkholme aka Mystique faces a huge risk. In addition to being in space, this mission almost cost one of its members, Jean Grey, who almost died from absorbing the mysterious glow that hovered and attacked the NASA crew earlier. Fortunately, the mission was a success. However, problems begin to arise when the incandescent gives Jean an even greater power, which can destroy her surroundings in no time. On the other hand, a mysterious alien named Vuk is targeting the glow in Jean to launch his action, which is to make the earth a new home for his people. Can the X-Men team come together and fend off Jean’s powers and Vuk’s ambitions?

 

Review

In short, this is it; After seeing this film, I understand why many critics say this film is tasteless and bad. But, on the one hand, for me, this film is not as bad as I thought.

Like my other film reviews, let’s start with the film. From the story, maybe fans of the X-Men comics (or Marvel in general) are already familiar with the Dark Phoenix arc. It’s always Jean who becomes the main star, and it’s up to the writer, where the story goes, what kind of story Jean wants to be made or how many times she wants to rise from the dead, and she wants to use her powers to build a better or worse story. From what I see, this arc can be a double-edged sword for the writers; can be very good or very bad. Well, in this film, the story idea is actually good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t execute well.

Why is it not executed properly? I think it’s all because of the script, the acting, and the direction of the story itself. Everything seems so fragile in this film. The script is not strong enough—indeed, there are some quotes or aphorisms that can be a moral value for the audience, but do not express the emotions of the characters. For example, when Hank was angry because of Raven’s death which he thought happened because of Charles’ selfishness in giving command to his team. The script and acting are also somehow lacking in this scene, and it doesn’t give me the impression that Raven’s death is something sad. I don’t feel anything, so it’s like a matter of fact. There’s a shock factor, I didn’t think that Raven would die, but in this film, the packaging of the scene doesn’t feel right and it’s not exciting.

For the direction of the story, yes… the pacing feels a bit disorganized, seems messy. Enough said. The ending is not good. Seeing the ending is the same as seeing the ending of Venom (2018). Like… that’s all? Feels less and should be given more, but well, that’s how it is. Less satisfactory.

Even so, I still want to appreciate Sophie Turner’s acting in this film. I can say she’s aware that in this arc, Jean is the star of this show, and she can carry the fragile role of Jean very well here. When he is sad, he succeeds in making me feel what he feels. Confused, angry, sad, and feeling like I can’t control her powers well—she made me relate to those feelings. Overall, Sophie’s acting can be said to be good and can lift the whole story, according to the theme, namely Jean Gray as Dark Phoenix.

Jennifer Lawrence’s acting is also good. Raven’s aura that looks tough on the outside but gentle and caring on the inside can be clearly felt. The acting is good, when Raven died, I felt her pain too. But because of the terrible pacing, I still feel like it’s just a matter of fact. Still, I think JenLaw’s acting is really good here.

Some other fun things that are in this film also exist. It’s nice to see character development Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler), who previously looked a bit passive and only acted as a transporter. In this film he gets the action part and can show his true potential, like in the X-Men film trilogy from the 2000s. Not only as a transporter, but also as a fighter who can carry the X-Men team well. Although the characterizations of the X-Men characters look lacking (I’m talking about Hank, Storm, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler himself), they carry themselves well and their actions speak louder than words.

But maybe it’s true what TVTropes said. It could be, the X-Men series which is considered a failure by critics is the impact of the case of Disney’s acquisition of Fox. This means that it is possible that in the future, the X-Men characters will be adapted into the Marvel family at Disney, making the Fox version’s timeline irrelevant and having everything start over again, up to the Marvel writers. Therefore, this film seems to be the fruit of all that uncertainty. It is evident from the existence of several scenes that must be reshooted and the acting of the actors. According to TVTropes, the acting of the actors in this film feels lacking because they are acting on a contract basis only, not purely wanting to tell this story on the silver screen. That kinda explains everything though, and I can’t blame the actors for it. Previously,

All because of Disney.

Overall, as I have written above, this film is not that enjoyable, but it can be a suitable entertainment for those of you who are bored at home and have no other activities besides being lazy. As the closing film of the Fox-owned X-Men franchise, this film is indeed very weak, but it’s not them to blame. It’s Disney to blame, to be honest.