In the new film “X-Men Dark Phoenix”, we find fireballs, lasers, and rays, but unfortunately no sparks.
The latest adventure “X-Men”, (the franchise’s seventh film, not counting the three independent “Wolverine” films, and the third entry in the rebooted-with-winger-cast-members series within the series) is a superhero disaster at a slow pace, where the actors look as bored as the audience.
Jennifer Lawrence, who signed the series just after “Winter’s Bone” nominated her for an Oscar, but before “The Hunger Games” shot the moon, seems to prefer to be anywhere else and everything but hands on the resignation of her character on the screen. Sophie Turner, who joined Jean Grey in 2016 in “X-Men: Apocalypse” and is the star here because, well, “Game of Thrones”, seems to prefer to be back in the North, sitting safely on her throne. Michael Fassbender’s character Magneto is living in a commune and doesn’t appear until the middle of the film, and seems really depressed when the rest of the team finds him. If being sad was a superpower, this cast would have it at an inch and a half.
And then there’s poor Jessica Chastain, who becomes an alien who changes shape, who introduces herself, who knows, takes over the world or something. Chastain, a double Oscar nominee and one of our best living actresses, seems to be being held against her will after accepting that, after a series of high-profile but low-performance roles, she has had to join the ranks of the superhero world.
“X-Men Fenix Oscura” begins with a sinister narrative about who we are as a people and whether we can evolve, big questions that the film seeks to consider between explosions.
It’s 1975 and a young Grey is in the backseat of her parents’ car as they drive along a lonely road, a montage that has never given rise to anything good in the history of cinema. Grey is controlling the radio dial with her mind, the tensions inside the car intensify. Couldn’t they have just agreed on a station? And very soon, the car rushes into the air. Her parents die but Grey is unharmed, her powers of telepathy and telekinesis are revealed.
Professor X (James McAvoy) enters, bringing Grey to school for mutants to perfect their powers. Over time – the action dates back to 1992 – he is a full member of the X-Men, along with Mystique (Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Storm (Alexandra Shipp, still not much to do), the know-it-all Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and Grey’s boyfriend, Cyclops (Tye Sheridan).
When a group of astronauts faces danger in space, the X-Men are called to action by the President of the United States. “We are doing space missions now. Great,” jokes one of the team members. Yes, great.
During the mission, Grey saves the day but absorbs a solar flare (oops), which deepens her psychic abilities. With her greater powers, she learns an uncomfortable truth about her parents’ car accident, which forces her to light Professor X and the rest of her squadron. Soon Vuk (Chastain) and her shape-shifter team want to use their powers for evil.
The fate of the world is at stake, of course, because otherwise, what are we doing here? Long-time screenwriter “X-Men” Simon Kinberg, who makes his debut as a feature film director, has the task of putting all this together and making us worry, but the weapons at his disposal are mainly confusing action scenes in which the “X-Men” take turns to show their powers, resulting in constantly chaotic images that disguise themselves as on-screen excitement.
Lawrence’s character makes a reference to “you should think about changing the name to X-Women”, which seems to be contractually binding in 2019. In a culminating battle, the words “your emotions make you weak” are pronounced, as if they had been extracted directly from the Superheroes manual Scripts for Dummies. Was it mentioned that there is also a mutant who uses his hair braids as a weapon?
The final battle takes place aboard a moving train that seems to be headed nowhere. At this point, it is a perfect metaphor for the “X-Men” series.
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|Genres :||Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi|
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