‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ review: Fiery finale of overly familiar franchise

X-Men: Dark Phoenix may follow a predictable storyline but its fiery conclusion should surprise you at the last minute.

X-Men Dark Phoenix is the twelfth installment to the X-Men franchise, and it serves as a direct sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse. The film is set in the early 90’s, a time in history where normal humans have started to accept mutants as part of society. Professor Charles Xavier, founder and head of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, is the leading figure for the mutants’ cause. Charles has created good relations with the U.S. government by giving the X-Men a positive, hero-like image, and in some instances, they’re even perceived as celebrities. However, all of that will be put to risk when young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) acquires an incredible increase in her mutant powers via a freak accident during their space rescue mission. Jean’s new powers come at a deadly cost as she becomes an uncontrollable and extremely violent threat. The rise of ‘The Phoenix’ is the film’s central arc that serves a decent tribute to the classic comic saga.

With a lot of film and TV franchises ending this year, Fox gives its loyal fans a fitting conclusion to hold on to. In a way, it can work as an antidote to the emotional high we got from Avengers: Endgame and the polarizing feel that we have from Game of Thrones. Notwithstanding its messy screenplay and direction, Dark Phoenix doesn’t completely feel bad. Despite the early backlash, this will be appreciated more over time for how different and ballsy it is. It’s direction is done in such a tonal and stylistic manner that we don’t usually get in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) battles with her inner demons in ‘Dark Phoenix.’

Contrasting Jean Grey and the other mutants in X-Men: The Last Stand (which was also based on the Dark Phoenix saga in the comics), this alternate version is a better fit for this generation. Dark Phoenix is visually satisfying. The action sequences here are well played and remarkable as the X-Men really acts as a team, with all the mutants complementing each other’s ability to fight a common enemy. The film doesn’t overuse the same setup for each fight scene. Cyclops eventually steps up with his signature laser eyes, Storm continues to be an electrifying wonder, and Jean Grey unleashes her no-holds-barred potential in which The Last Stand simply didn’t have.

The instrumental pieces composed by Hans Zimmer are very powerful and emotionally-stirring. He also astounds in amplifying the sharp and crisp sound design that fans will really dig. The cast performances are impressive as they portray their characters one last time, in ways that we have never seen before. James McAvoy amazes us again with his grit even though the script occasionally disappoints with stale dialogue. Michael Fassbender as Magneto remains to be the character that you wouldn’t want to miss because this time, he has his morals and judgement more founded than anyone else.  

The rise of The Phoenix. Sophie Turner in ‘Dark Phoenix.’

While these two OG characters have always been the emotional pillar of the franchise, the script is generous enough to let McAvoy and Fassbender share the spotlight with Turner, who plays the titular role with such range from sweet innocence and raging intensity. She shines best in showing her villainous side. I daresay that she’s the better version of Jean Grey and I foolishly hope that some of the cast, including her, will be reconsidered in MCU.

As the twelfth installment of an overly familiar franchise, it’s safe to say that the audience has developed a special attachment to these characters (including the original cast) for the last 19 years and it’s nerve-racking to see how it all ends. On the other hand, some viewers who have voiced out their superhero fatigue will still feel a sense of relief now that the X-Men’s book under Fox’s umbrella can be finally put into the shelf.

One last stand (L-R): James McAvoy (Charles Xavier/Professor X), Andrew Stehlin (Red Lotus), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Tye Sheridan (Scott Summers/Cyclops), Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy/Beast), Kota Eberhardt (Selene), Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto).

Overall, the conclusion to 20th Century Fox’s venture satisfies on an entertainment level, even if it’s not as compelling enough should it stand against your usual Marvel film. It’s a bittersweet feeling because it’s never really a farewell as we can only be hopeful for greater reiterations to come once these mutants finally crossover the MCU after the Fox-Disney merger.

3.5 out of 5 stars
Produced by 20th Century Fox, ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ stars Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan and Kodi Smit-McPhee . Directed by Simon Kinberg. 114 minutes.

WATCH: Final trailer reveal for ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

With Jean Grey aka Phoenix (played by Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner) out of control in the final trailer reveal of “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”, her fellow mutants unite to save her from wreaking havoc on earth and to the rest of the X-men force.

“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” is adapted from the classic storyline during the 1980s when the X-men were on a rescue mission in space and when Jean was struck by a powerful solar flare and returned to earth unknowingly transformed into the most dangerous lethal weapon.  Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.

““X-Men: Dark Phoenix” also stars Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAvoy as Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Andrew Stehlin as Red Lotus, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler and Kota Eberhardt as Selene with Jessica Chastain in a mysterious role. 

“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” opens in Philippine cinemas on June 5 from 20th Century Fox. 

WATCH: Sophie Turner rises as most dangerous mutant in ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ trailer

S20th Century Fox just dropped the official trailer and latest poster of “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” unleashing Jean Grey’s aka Phoenix (played by Sophie Turner) mammoth of power that threatens the existence of the rest of the X-Men force.

In “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.

The latest film sees returning stellar cast that includes Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAboy as Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast alongside newcomer Jessica Chastain in a mysterious role.  The movie also includes Alexandra Shipp as Storm, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, and Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Andrew Stehlin as Red Lotus, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler and Kota Eberhardt as Selene. With Jessica Chastain coming in new in a mysterious role.

A 20th Century Fox feature, “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” will open June 5 in Philippine cinemas.

Sophie Turner is a girl on fire in first teaser for ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

20th Century Fox unleashes the rise of one of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men universe in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” starring Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Alexandra Shipp, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Evan Peters and Kodi Smit-McPhee, written and directed by Simon Kinberg.

In “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, their family, Jean Grey (Turner). During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this new entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither understand nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite – not only to save Jean’s soul, but also to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world as they fight aliens who wish to weaponize Jean’s force and rule the galaxy.

“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” opens February 6, 2019 in Philippine cinemas nationwide.

 

New horror X-Men movie looms in ‘The New Mutants’ poster

20th Century Fox has just revealed the first poster of YA superhero movie “The New Mutants” starring Charlie Heaton, Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga and Alice Braga, directed by Josh Boone who also helmed the hit young adult movie “The Fault in Our Stars”.

As 20th Century Fox continues to redefine superhero movies such as “Deadpool” and “Logan” that became worldwide blockbusters, “The New Mutants” poises to be another one of their most daring move yet by leaning on to the YA-horror genre as the super-powered teens are revealed – confined in a seemingly secret facility while being haunted by horrifying visions.

Fear will follow everywhere when “The New Mutants” opens in Philippine theatres on April 11, 2018, a 20th Century Fox feature film to be distributed by Warner Bros.

WATCH: ‘The New Mutants’ trailer offers X-Men horror film

New heroes arise in first trailer for superhero horror film “The New Mutants” directed by Josh Boone as released by 20th Century Fox. This eleventh installment of X-Men opens in Philippine cinemas on April 11, 2018.

The story of the “The New Mutants” revolves around a team of mutant heroes comprised of the first graduates from Charles Xavier’s school. The exciting new movie stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin/Magik, Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie/ Cannonball, Alice Braga as Dr. Cecilia Reyes, Henry Zaga as Roberto da Costa / Sunspot, and Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage.

In recent news, Stacey Snider, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox shared, “New Mutants” is about these teenagers who are just coming into their powers. It’s like watching mutants go through adolescence and they have no impulse control, so they’re dangerous. The only solution is to put them in a “Breakfast Club” detention/“Cuckoo’s Nest” institutional setting. It protects the people on the outside, but it’s strange and combustible inside. The genre is like a haunted-house movie with a bunch of hormonal teenagers. We haven’t seen it as a superhero movie whose genre is more like “The Shining” than “we’re teenagers let’s save the world.”

Additonally, Anya Taylor-Joy reassured fans in recent interviews, “I think the nicest thing about it is that Josh Boone, our director — he’s just such a fan of the comics, and he really loves them so much that he’s really interested in just making sure that we do the comics justice for the people that love the characters. You know, we all feel so lucky to be such incredibly loved characters. So, while it’s definitely a departure from the X-Men movies, the fans won’t be disappointed. We definitely kept all the important bits in there.”

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ reigns supreme at PH box-office with P230-M opening weekend

20th Century Fox’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” reigns supreme at the box-office with its PhP 230 million opening weekend (first five days) in the Philippines in 476 screens. It also dominated and opened number one on its first day of release (opened May 18) in the country with PhP 45 million in box-office receipts.

In the Philippines, “X-Men: Apocalypse” has taken the franchise to new heights with its strong box-office results. It now holds as the Biggest Fox Opening Weekend All-Time, tracking 131% higher than “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” It is also now the Biggest Non-Holiday May Opening Weekend All-Time. Ultimately, “X-Men: Apocalypse” records show that it is now the Biggest Opening Weekend in the X-Men franchise.

In addition to its opening weekend box-office results, it has become the Biggest Fox Opening Day All-Time, Biggest Non-Holiday May Opening All-Time and the Biggest Opening Day in the X-Men franchise. “X-Men: Apocalypse” also cemented its apocalyptic power on Philippine soil as it now stands as the 2nd Biggest Opening Weekend for the year, after “Captain America: Civil War.”

“X-Men: Apocalypse’s” powerful presence recorded strong box-office receipts from the following top twenty (20) cinemas:

  1. SM MEGAMALL (11M);
  2. SM MALL OF ASIA (10.1M);
  3. TRINOMA (8.1M);
  4. SM NORTH EDSA/THE BLOCK (8M);
  5. GLORIETTA (6.2M);
  6. POWERPLANT (4.3M);
  7. SM CEBU (4.3M);
  8. GREENBELT 3 (4.1M);
  9. GATEWAY CINEPLEX (3.99M);
  10. ALABANG TOWN CENTER (3.95M);
  11. BONIFACIO HIGH STREET (3.8M);
  12. AYALA CEBU (3.6M);
  13. THEATRE MALL (3.6M);
  14. SHANG CINEPLEX (3.38M);
  15. MARKET!MARKET! (3.31M);
  16. EASTWOOD (3.25M);
  17. ROBINSONS MAGNOLIA (3.15M);
  18. SM AURA (3.13M);
  19. UPTOWN (3.03M);
  20. NEWPORT (2.7M).

Indeed record-breaking, “X-Men: Apocalypse’s” Phil. box-office feat is also cited in major news organizations as one of the top performing markets in international territories. As reported in http://www.Variety.com “The launch featured the biggest Fox opening weekend ever in half a dozen markets including Philippines ($4.9 million), India ($3.5 million), Indonesia ($3.1 million), Singapore ($3 million), Thailand ($2.7 million) and Colombia ($1.9 million).”

Bryan Singer’s return at the helm of the franchise in “X-Men: Apocalypse” along with beloved mutant characters pitted against the most powerful of their kind has generated coherent rave buzz among its fan base round the globe despite polarizing reviews from some critics. “X-Men: Apocalypse” brings returning and new characters on the big screen led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Rose Byrne with young and equally powerful mutants played by Sophie Turner, Ben Hardy, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Oscar Isaac. In the movie, the invincible and immortal Apocalypse is set free after being entombed for several millennia. Enraged that his kind are no longer treated as gods, Apocalypse assembles a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to destroy humankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. To end Apocalypse’s path of global destruction, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X (James McAvoy) lead a team of young X-Men in an epic showdown with a seemingly unstoppable enemy.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” is now showing in cinemas across the Philippines from 20th Century Fox distributed by Warner Bros. Available in 2D, 3D, 4D and IMAX screens nationwide.

Meet the Four Horsemen in the new ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

The critically hailed blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was a tough act to follow. Following his acclaimed work, director Bryan Singer takes the franchise to new heights with “X-Men: Apocalypse,” in which the X-Men battle the original and most powerful mutant — Apocalypse.

Staged in 1983, the invincible and immortal Apocalypse is set free after being entombed for several millennia. Enraged that his kind are no longer treated as gods, Apocalypse assembles a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to destroy humankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. To end Apocalypse’s path of global destruction, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X (James McAvoy) lead a team of young X-Men in an epic showdown with a seemingly unstoppable enemy.

Once again fueled by rage and revenge, Magneto is vulnerable to Apocalypse’s offer to join him as one of his newly-reformed Four Horsemen. Inspired by the biblical vision of Four Horsemen, who unleash a divine apocalypse upon the world, Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen are minion mutants who, says Fassbender, “are living on the margins and have been ostracized or bullied.”

Apocalypse’s Four Horseman, circa 1983, are: Magneto, Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Angel (Ben Hardy) and Storm (Alexandra Shipp). Psylocke is a powerful telepath and trained ninja assassin. Introduced as the bodyguard for Caliban, an underground mutant tracker, Apocalypse senses Psylocke’s power and persuades her to join his cause. “She’s a fascinating character,” says Munn. “Unlike many of her fellow mutants, who kill only when they must, Psylocke has always enjoyed killing, or at least she has no problem doing it.”

Storm (whose given name is Ororo Monroe) is an orphan raised as a thief on the streets of Cairo. Storm possesses the ability to control all aspects of the weather. Storm can also fly, thanks to her ability to control wind currents. While she will become one of the most valued leaders of the X-Men, the Storm we meet in this film is struggling with who she is, before Apocalypse convinces her to join his team. “This Storm is more reckless and emotionally driven than the adult Storm we know from the previous X-Men films, starring Halle Berry,” says Shipp. “She’s confused about who she wants to be, and her lack of opportunity leads her to join Apocalypse as one of his modern Horsemen.”

The Fourth Horseman is Angel, whose mutation gave him large wings and the ability to fly. Angel’s agility, strength and reflexes make him a lethal hand-to-hand combatant. In “X-Men: Apocalypse,” after suffering severe damage to his wings, Angel is like an angry punk rocker. He’s a drunk, disheveled mess, and surviving out of pure instinct. Angel is approached by Apocalypse, who gives him the opportunity to channel his anger and join his Horsemen. In exchange for his allegiance, Apocalypse repairs Angel’s wings by transforming them into a techno-organic metal, which allows him to shoot deadly razor projectiles from his now indestructible wings. Ben Hardy, who takes flight as Angel, knew the character is one of the most anticipated by fans, and worked hard to bring Angel to life. That included a training regimen that was no less demanding than Hugh Jackman’s muscle-pumping workouts for his appearances as Wolverine. Hardy trained six days a week and followed a strict diet, “to look as superhuman as possible,” he says. For flying scenes, Hardy trained for and executed many complicated stunt wire-work, an often dizzying experience. “I mean, to be 30 feet in the air and swoop down was like being on a rollercoaster all day,” says Hardy.

The most awaited epic battle begins when “X-Men: Apocalypse” opens May 18, 2016 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

WATCH: First trailer of ‘X-Men Apocalypse’

Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” director Bryan Singer returns with “X-Men: Apocallypse.” Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Lana Condor, Ben Hardy.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” opens in Philippine cinemas May 18, 2016 from 20th Century Fox and to be distributed by Warner Bros.