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X-Men: Dark Phoenix is mindless mutant mayhem, says Rashid Irani

With its chaotic plot and cartoonish action scenes, this is a disappointing finale to the X-Men franchise.

ht weekend Updated: Jun 05, 2019 14:10 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Sophie Turner plays the flame-haired Jean Grey, who slams into a solar flare while on a space mission and is transformed into a malevolent force — the Dark Phoenix.
  • Direction: Simon Kinberg
  • Actors:Sophie Turner, James McAvoy
  • Rating:2 / 5

The most you can look forward to in X-Men: Dark Phoenix is the unexpected demise of one of the franchise’s most endearing characters.

This film follows the passable X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), which was crafted as a prologue set in 1975. In …Apocalypse, the clairvoyant child Jean Grey lost her parents in an automobile accident; in …Dark Phoenix, the action shifts to 1992, a decade later.

The flame-haired Jean (Sophie Turner, providing mere eye candy) is all grown up now. And during a space mission gone awry, she slams into a solar flare and is transformed into a malevolent force — the Dark Phoenix. Back on earth, she encounters a bleached-blonde extraterrestrial (Jessica Chaistain, wasted) and embarks on a spree of destruction.

Jennifer Lawrence plays the blue-skinned Raven. She and the rest of the ‘X-Men’ band together, reportedly one last time, to save the planet from an alien Armageddon.

As the ultra-gifted misfits band together, reportedly one last time, the blue-skinned Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) points out, aptly, that perhaps they ought to be called the X-Women. Either way, their formidable foe now poses a threat to the human race as well as to her fellow mutants, who are struggling to avert an alien Armageddon.

It’s all very anti-climactic, especially for a franchise that’s been running this long. The special effects are all over the place, as is the plot. Emotions take a backseat amid a relentless display of cartoonish cosmic conflicts. Somewhere in there, there’s an attempt to throw in a message about the value of family and friendship. It’s exhaustingly déjà vu.

Sad to say, …Dark Phoenix is barely adequate, even as a summertime diversion.

First Published: Jun 05, 2019 14:10 IST