"Dark Phoenix"

It is only natural that with the two mediocre films that proceed “Dark Phoenix,” this film would be written off. I was intrigued to see the film because of Jessica Chastain’s look and the trailer actually made the film look fantastic. Through the course of the story, Jean Grey learns about the circumstances of her upbringing and the lies of the life she knew after a cataclysmic accident enhances her powers.

Sophie Turner played Jean Grey with innocence, vitality and vigor. Once again we watch a female character who is told to control their emotions in order to inhabit their power. Jessica Chastain is a fantastic antagonist. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Alexandra Shipp return to the series with great appeal as Professor X, Magneto and Storm, respectively. Evan Peters brings the humor as Quicksilver. I wish he was used in the film more. Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops compliments Sophie’s performance with a balance of love and protection. Jennifer Lawrence is good as Raven in a fairly underutilized role to satisfy the story. Nicholas Hoult is incredible as Hank/Beast. Nicholas should be the next Batman. I will shout that from the mountaintops. Ato Essandoh gives vengeance and manipulation as one of the D’Bari members. Kodi Smit-McPhee gives a great supporting performance as Nightcrawler, one of my favorite characters due to Alan Cumming’s performance in “X2.” Hannah Emily Anderson and Scott Shepherd are great as Jean’s parents.

Director & Writer Simon Kinberg gives fire to the story in parts. For his writing, the story is good. It is also discombobulated. The D’bari Empire is not explained well. You can still fear them. There are a couple of plot points that did not make sense and fully commit. There are corny political connections that I guess speak to reality. There is an evolution and a completion to a series that began with “X-Men: First Class.” For Jean Grey, there is a focus on her evolution with her power. The film could have benefited to use the six minutes to make the story fuller for a two hour film. However, this film is accomplishes not dragging out. For his directing, with the special effects, there is breathtaking action. The score (as I looked up who created it makes so much sense) by Hans Zimmer is electric and with his signature enhancing the film’s experience.

I am going to see this film again.