2/10. A colossal disaster. X-Men: Dark Phoenix attempts to resurrect a franchise but fails spectacularly.

Amazingly, what didn’t work the first time around has somehow failed once again. By this, I am referring to the “Dark Phoenix” saga of X-Men character Jean Grey-Summers. An arc that was tried in 2006 with the third X-Men film, X-Men: The Last Stand.

Even more amazing is that both of those films were written by the same person, Simon Kinberg. It seems that Kinberg hasn’t learned from past experiences, making erroneous structures and faults in the story. While no doubt the passion and intention were there, maybe a third time will be the charm.

Almost everything that happens with the story either doesn’t make much sense, falls flat or is very underwhelming. There are times when it looks like an action sequence aims to redeem the poor writing, but even these are just as generic.

The only real positives are from the performances and the visuals. While not all the X-Men characters were well acted, Sophie Turner and Michael Fassbender were great. Visually, X-Men: The Last Stand doesn’t even compare to X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It’s clear that 13 years difference has made some groundbreaking changes to the special effects department and its fantastic to see.

Ultimately, without a good story, all the money in the world cannot save you. And with a reported budget of $200 million, it’ll be interesting to see whether X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be able to break even.

I’d add that hopefully Hollywood blockbusters like these, along with the recent Godzilla: The King of Monsters, will serve as examples that throwing exorbitant amounts of money in production, A-list celebrities and mass marketing eventually reaches a point of a difficult return. A breaking point where to even have a remote chance of recouping such expenditures, a good story is critical, or else you can’t come back.

I’d want to say those things…I really do. But I have such doubts that much will change in the future.


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