In case you’re not aware, X-Men in 2000 was the OG superhero film that kickstarted the entire superhero film genre: the blockbuster then earned USD$296.3 million out of a budget of USD$75m, and received positive reviews worldwide.
After the third film X-Men: The Last Stand, which was out in 2006, the franchise went through a reboot with X-Men: First Class in 2011, when reboots were a thing (think: Star Trek or Batman Begins). While a few rebooted films were pretty decent, they were nothing compared to the OG movies.
With Disney (that owns MCU) buying over 20th Century Fox, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is supposed to be the last X-Men film under 20th Century Fox, with rumours of the X-Men rights porting over to the MCU. It’s also supposedly the conclusion to the entire X-Men rebooted franchise as the characters would then move into the MCU.
Needless to say, fans have high expectations for this film.
Based on the headline (and reviews everywhere), I guess you’d know that it failed rather miserably.
Background of Dark Phoenix
Any X-Men fan would know about the Phoenix saga: the overused saga has been in the animated series, the OG X-Men movies and almost any media with Jean Gray.
Heck, I’ll go out on a limb and say that even non-X-Men fans would know about this saga of a girl who got superpowers from aliens and became evil while battling her inner demons.
And this is the exact issue: we know what’s coming. Now, it’s a matter of the delivery.
Unfortunately, the delivery, too, was a mess.
Coming-of-Age, Superhero Flick or What-The-Shit-Is-This?
Before you X-Men fans come with rotten eggs, hear me out. I’ve nothing against X-Men but I’ve everything against this new film.
To me, X-Men isn’t just a superhero movie: it carries a subtle yet powerful message: discrimination is wrong.
This is evident in the animated series and the OG movies, but the rebooted movies seemed to have deviated from that theme and focus more on mindless action scenes.
Based on the theme of Dark Phoenix, the movie could be the saviour of the franchise: we all know it’s going to be an action-packed personification of Jean Gray’s battle with herself.
You know, a fight with a message of darkness vs lightness.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.
The movie’s packed with melodramatic scenes that I’m hoping would be over soon, lots of Super Saiyan moment from Jean Gray that feels like babies that cry uncontrollably and mindless action scenes that seem to be there just to justify the ticket prices.
The plot is so predictable, you’d know the ending before it even started.
While the actors play their roles well, I was envisioning them in the OG series whereby Prof X is calm AF and Beast to be the super-nice guy. All I can say, without any spoilers, is that if you’re a fan of the OG movies, you might want to forget whatever you’ve seen in this film.
I’m an idiot whose views are often different from others, so I went online to check out what others have said.
I guess that for the first time in my life, people actually agreed with me.
And the numbers show as well: based on its weak opening, the film might lose USD$100 million. It also has the worst X-Men US opening ever as it’s the first film in the franchise that didn’t top the box office on the week of its release.
Not to mention that there’s no strong competitor around (The Secret Life of Pets 2 got the top spot instead).
So, should you watch it?
If you’re an X-Men fan, watch it just so that you’ve the rights to claim your X-Men top fan badge. If not, just go for The Secret Life of Pets 2. Numbers don’t lie.
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