Dark Phoenix aka X-Men The Last Stand 2 is the final entry to the wildly varying X-Men franchise, provided that the abysmal looking New Mutants film never sees the light of day. The film takes place in the 1990s and sees the events of the Dark Phoenix saga unfold as Jean Grey struggles with her powers after an incident in space. This film is the hottest of garbage.
The X-Men franchise is known for a rollercoaster approach to it’s quality, but this one was damned lazy. The film consists of a whole heap of nothing until a lackluster train fight and then the film ends.
With a sub two hour runtime the film has literally nothing happen. Most of the actors are quite lazy in their approach to their roles. While Mcavoy and Fassbender still manage to shine, Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey left a bad impression as she just sadly puppets her lines with the vaguest, most non-descript American accent ever. Tye Sheridan as Cyclops is certainly present, ready to shout “Jean!” In an angsty, pained voice whenever the plot calls for it which is every fiveish minutes. Evan Peters’ Quicksilver is brutally underutilised as is the norm. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is fine, passable but nothing noteworthy. Alexandra Shipp is fine as Storm, but her character has nothing to do. Jessica Chastain as Vuk, leader of the D’bari is another nothing role, her vague villainous personality providing literally nothing to the plot.
The only two redeeming features for this film are, as mentioned, Professor X finally being the absolute garbage prick he is in the comics, as well as Magneto being the same as he usually is. With the impending Marvel takeover, I will be saddened to see these two go as I feel they brought far more depth to their roles than their older counterparts.
The cinematography is average, with the end fight being set on a train instead of space as originally intended setting the film back and holding it away from some likely beautiful shots of space. Instead we get a train and a junkyard. Yep. A goddamn junkyard is where the fate of the planet is decided. While there are some nice fan service moments like Genosha and Dazzler appearing, the film lacks so much and didn’t even try to make something passable or even interesting. The only remote bit of entertainment I got from this film was trashing it during and after the performance. The short runtime of the film also makes it feel as though a half movie was filmed and sent out for showing.
Verdict: In conclusion, while I overall enjoy the X-Men films for their look back to a world far less steeped in comic book mythology, I cannot with good conscience recommend this film to anyone, and I would be hesitant to give it even a 3 out of 10. For that reason, I would rate Last Stand 2 a 2.5/10. Go rewatch Logan instead.