Dark Phoenix characters with more meaning than you realize

Dark Phoenix characters with more meaning than you realize

The X-Men film franchise has a penchant for straying from the source material, reinventing characters and concepts for the big screen since the first movie in 2000.

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw says: "The point of a phoenix, dark or otherwise, is that it rises from the flames".

For the most part, Dark Phoenix is a perfectly competent bit of X-Men action, a movie where Professor X (James McAvoy) preaches the need for mutants and humans to live in coexistence while Magneto (Michael Fassbender) argues it can never happen. That's what I was going for with Dark Phoenix's ending even though it then might have looked like Captain Marvel for about two minutes. But I would've probably said Spider-Man should remain his own discrete universe, and yet they integrated him and so brilliantly into the MCU, into the Avengers movie and with the relationship with Tony Stark, and I wouldn't have been able to anticipate that.

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To understand what it was like living with split personalities, Turner studied real-world mental illness (schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder), to best showcase Jean's internal struggle after absorbing the Phoenix Force during a mission in outer space.

Unlike "Last Stand", "Dark Phoenix" is nearly exclusively centered on Jean Grey's Phoenix arc, and alien characters like Vuk are a nod toward the original comic storyline. The writer for that film, Simon Kinberg, who also stuck around to write or produce all of the subsequent films, makes his directorial debut here, following telepathic mutant Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) as she struggles to control the huge - and unsafe - power that awakens within her when she suffers an accident in space. Though the dominant aesthetic of the series comes from since-disgraced filmmaker Bryan Singer, the X-Men movies have accommodated plenty of stylistic detours: Matthew Vaughn's zippy prequel X-Men: First Class (which brought the series back from the brink and introduced much of the current cast); James Mangold's two movies about hirsute, indestructible Wolverine (Hugh Jackman); and the irreverent ultraviolence of the Deadpool pictures. I'm not entirely sure I could explain to you the powers or the weaknesses of the alien race headed by ... well, Jessica Chastain-I guess, I can't really remember the character's name-which is stalking Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), who has gained some sort of cosmic power.

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All in all, it's a pretty tidy ending-the majority of the "First Class" has either moved on or died, tragically, but the dream of the X-Men continues in the hands of some alumni and the memory of Jean.

Oh, the characters will be all be back, but in a completely new universe; the Marvel Cinematic Universe - so Dark Phoenix is, in fact, a goodbye to the X-Men as we know them. Turner convincingly conveys Jean's conflict as she teeters between good and evil. But Jean's transformation feels just as rushed, both within the movie and the broader series. Dazzler can be a silly character, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it.

Now that Game of Thrones has seen its final days, Sophie Turner is starting to get more into her career as a film actress.

Even in its limitations, Dark Phoenix stands out from other superhero movies.

Dark Phoenix is now in theaters.