X;Men; Dark Phoenix is an American superhero movie based on the Marvel comics team The X;Men and is a sequel to 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Directed by Simon Kinberg, the film is set in the early nineties & the plot follows the members of the superhero team deal with the threat posed by the Phoenix Force within Jean Grey’s body after it is triggered by a space mission gone awry.
The Movie-Warden’s take.
The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the most revered story-lines in the history of comic books and thus, you’d expect a film-maker to create a masterpiece out of it on the big screen, right? Well, not necessarily. Bret Ratner’s 2006 film X-Men; The Last Stand gave us a taste of the famous story-line but it was widely underwhelming to most audiences especially those who read and fell in love with the source material. In fact, it was so underwhelming that Kinberg, a seasoned producer of Fox’s X-Men films, came out publicly to apologize for for the studio’s inability to replicate the iconic story-line on screen back then. That said, there was always going to be room for a second try at it and the upcoming film is poised to succeed where The Last Stand didn’t.
The first trailer gave us a sneak peak into a fallen X-Men member with that aerial shot of the team standing by a graveside and this latest one reveals that Mystique might be the deceased. In my opinion, I’d say part of what goes on in the first 30 seconds of the trailer is just a narrative smokescreen from Kinberg and co.; there’s no way Mystique dies in 1992, is there?
However, what I was drawn to in that first 30 seconds was Jean Grey conversing with her alter ego, the Phoenix Force, while getting soaked in the rain. That moment, is both enlightening and humanizing at the same time in the sense that it educates the average audience member that Jean Grey and The Phoenix force are indeed two separate entities. Additionally, it humanizes Jean Grey in a way to tell you that she is not the villain of the story, at least not willingly; a factor that is fleshed out even more with the introduction of Jessica Chastain‘s character.
The award-winning actress plays Smith, a manipulative alien shape-shifter with a mysterious connection to Professor X . As the trailer blatantly suggests, she is interested in the power that Jean possesses and not necessarily her welfare; a hallmark of a typical villain character. Smith’s role in this story is not that different from Mastermind‘s in the comics who also sought the mutant for her immense abilities but for different reasons altogether.
The somber mood and serious tone carries on from the previous trailer on to this latest one; the latter having much more of it. It’s an aspect that I was personally captivated by because as a viewer, I know things will probably work out in the end nonetheless I am curious to know how things will pan out leading up to the conclusion. On one hand, we have the dangerous Jean Grey situation which is only getting worse and on the other, we have the Charles Xavier factor; the X-men patriarch is now the one person who is being heavily blamed for the apparent situation and understandably so. He used his psychic powers on young Jean not only to suppress the truth about her parents’ demise but also to keep the Phoenix force at bay; an issue that comes to haunt him later on in life through certain members of the team and those outside it i.e. Magneto.
I love the conflict of interest portrayed in the clip as well; there’s a debate on whether Jean should be put down for good or not with the clashing parties having their own valid recommendations on what should be done. The art direction looks pristine also; a majority of the scenes are visually appealing.
At the end of the day, I’d say I am impressed by the trailer; it gave me everything I wasn’t expecting but needed. Really looking forward to seeing this in a few months time.