Thursday, 06 June 2019 05:41

X-Men: Dark Phoenix - is it any good?

The finale of the X-Men series had its world premiere in Hollywood on Tuesday night and woke up to varying reviews.

Dark Phoenix, which stars British actor Sophie Turner in the title role, is the 12th in the film series.

It's Turner's first major role since the end of Game of Thrones, where she played Sansa Stark.

The superhero film - based on the Marvel Comics X-Men characters - finds her character Jean Grey receiving transformative telepathic powers.

The culmination of the story follows the completion of another epic superhero series, The Avengers, which saw its finale, Endgame, break box office records.

But critics have been lukewarm about the new film, which unusually was released in certain territories before the journalists were allowed to file their reviews.

The Guardian gave it two stars, saying "the mutant franchise fizzles out forgettably".

"Sophie Turner stars in Jean Grey's 90s-set origin story that offers glimpses of intrigue before regressing into a dull CGI-fest," wrote Peter Bradshaw.

He added that "the most interesting aspect of this film is James McAvoy's Xavier," saying the Scotsman's character is "is more opaque, more worldly, more secretive - and drinking more heavily.

"For the first time, we realise that he is not the idealist that we might have imagined."

The Telegraph thought it was even worse, giving it just the one star, describing the X-Men ending as "X-Hausting, X-Cruciating, and little reason to exist".

Robbie Collin said the film "feels like the latest episode of a show you stopped following years ago, whether you sat through the recent instalments or not."

Better marks came from the The Daily Express who gave it four stars, saying the "spectacular finale is most mature of franchise since [previous film] Logan".

Variety don't do stars but did say the film "attains a note of ominous majesty, thanks to Sophie Turner's presence as an X-Woman consumed by the awesomeness of her power".

The Independent also thought Dark Phoenix was a two-star film, and "a superficial disappointment with nothing fresh to say."

Geoffrey Macnab wrote that "the latest entry into the superhero canon has no emotional depth whatsoever."

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The X-Men series began in 2000 with the eponymous opener and the last film came in the form of Deadpool 2 last year.

The 11 films prior to Dark Phoenix have made around $5.8bn (£4.6bn) in box office sales and it was reported last month that the latest effort was in danger of having the worst opening weekend of the franchise.

Previouly, X-Men Origins: Wolverine had the lowest opening weekend, making a $53.1 million debut in 2009.

On the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre in California, Turner - who acts alongside fellow Brits McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult, as well as US star Jennifer Lawrence - explained how she prepared for the emotional climactic role.

"I think I cried," the 23-year-old told Marvel Entertainment's YouTube channel.

"I think I stated to work out then realised she was telekinetic, so I decided not to work out and cried a lot.

"It was great - and ate my feelings!"

Her new brother-in-law Nick Jonas clearly enjoyed it.

(BBC)

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