X-Men, the mutant humans born with superhuman abilities, return to the big screen. In “Dark Phoenix,” the mutants do battle with one of their own, Jean Grey, who possesses telepathic and telekinetic skills. While on a space rescue mission, Jean barely escapes death after being hit by a mysterious cosmic force. When she returns home, a routine exam shows that this force gave her power beyond what anyone can measure. But this force leads her to react in ways she neither understands nor can control. Not only are her loved ones at risk, but she disrupts a fragile peace with both the humans and other X-Men communities.
There have been 11 X-Men films which in total produced almost $6 billion in revenue. The studios and writers often strain to come up with new and interesting stories from the Marvel comics concept. This story of powerful and out of control Jean Grey works, and “Dark Phoenix” gets a See It! rating.
I really liked the plotline of a woman being the kick-ass, strongest character in the heavily male dominated X-Men series.
Fundamental to the X-Men story is the battle with humans. And then there’s the intragroup debate, with some mutants supporting a peaceful coexistence with humans while others see fighting it out as the answer. It has been written that this debate was patterned after Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolence in dealing with American racism versus Malcolm X’s more aggressive and confrontational approach. These recurring conflicts have served this series well. And there are elements of these controversies in “Dark Phoenix.”
Much the appeal of the sci-fi genre is the mind-blowing special effects and this film, like most of the big budget productions, doesn’t disappoint.
Diversity, or the lack thereof, has always been an issue with the X-Men series, which is not surprising considering the characters were created over 50 years ago. Men of color are especially lacking in the series. There is the introduction of a Black character, Jones, played by Ato Essandoh, who is an X-Men adversary. “Dark Phoenix” earns a “C” for diversity.
It’s rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images and brief strong language and is 113 minutes in length. It gets a See It! rating.