Descending into the Ashes: A Dark Phoenix Review


For almost twenty years, audiences have been on an ever mutating adventure known as 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise. With its newest and final entry, Dark Phoenix, we say our goodbyes to a long history of reboots, claws, two-finger temple touches, retcons, blue skinned baddies (or goodies) and of course, the juggernaut (bitch). Since Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the future of the X-Men is currently unknown, but undoubtedly, these characters will somehow be reimagined and folded into Disney’s ever expansive mega franchise: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Is this final entry a satisfying conclusion to the series? Does it wrap up its long history of beloved comic book heroes? Short answer: No.

Long Answer: It’s strange to see the X-Men franchise cinematically return to the beloved “Dark Phoenix” story arc from the comics, because the last time we saw this tale of telepathy and UNLIMITED POWER was back in 2006, with X-Men: The Last Stand. Simon Kinberg wrote both films and in this year’s Dark Phoenix, he is also the film’s director. X-Men: The Last Stand is not a film that is remembered fondly amongst X-Men fans, and the franchise itself has gone to great lengths to retcon that movie out of its “impossible to understand” continuity. So what’s the logic of taking another stab at this comic book arc? By wiping the previous attempt out of existence and setting its reimagining in the new-ish 'First Class' timeline are the filmmakers attempting to make a more faithful adaptation? Again, short answer: No.