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New To DVD - X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX

x-men dark phoenix review
While on a mission in space, Jean Grey is exposed to a cosmic force that dramatically increases her powers.

Review by Ben Peyton

Directed by: Simon Kinberg

Starring: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Hannah Emily Anderson

x-men dark phoenix dvd



Another month, another superhero film and it’s Marvel again with X-Men: Dark Phoenix (or perhaps that should be X-Women, as one character quips). Tasked with concluding this particular chapter of the series and making his feature debut, director Simon Kinberg, who wrote some of the previous X-Men films, creates a solid, if slightly uninspired, supernatural action film borrowing one of the most popular storylines from the comics.

x-men dark phoenix review

It’s 1992 and our heroes are launched into space on a rescue mission. As events unfold, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) is exposed to a cosmic force and her very particular set of skills is increased dramatically. As she struggles to contain these new powers there are devastating consequences for her (nobody hurts the pride of Miss Jean Grey) and the team as she attempts to uncover the truth about her mysterious past and her relationship with the man who raised her, Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy).

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Meanwhile, a race of aliens known as the D’Bari are hunting Jean to obtain the energy within her, hoping to rebuild their shattered world. Arriving on earth, they rudely interrupt Jessica Chastain’s dinner party, take over her body (leaving her looking spectacularly like a member of the Malfoy family from Harry Potter) and begin their pursuit. While she looks suitably sinister, Chastain’s character is underdeveloped and ultimately disappointing.

x-men dark phoenix review

The rest of the stellar ensemble cast are all given a fair amount of screen time and though Turner and McAvoy impress, Nicholas Hoult has by far the more interesting journey. His ironically named Beast brings vulnerability and warrants empathy as he works through his personal demons.

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Kinberg produces some decent set-pieces including the space rescue and a frenetic sequence on a speeding train, but there are too many scenes of laboured dialogue where the pace dips. Combating this, the energy lifts when Magneto (Michael Fassbender) joins the party. Now living in a commune with other mutants, we get to see his vengeful side in full flow as he deals with his own devastating circumstances.

x-men dark phoenix review

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is a satisfying, yet standard, farewell to Marvel’s misfit mutants and leaves the doors of the School for Gifted Youngsters open and ready to usher in next year’s fresh batch of pupils with The New Mutants.

Oh, and don’t hang around for an extra scene during or after the credits because there isn’t one.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix comes to UK DVD October 7th.


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