Yet another film series is coming to an end this week. It’s time for X Men. Though it did not taste a similar success rate as its sister series (Avengers), it created a niche for itself in the genre. The series has boasted of actors like Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Halle Berry (Storm), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier / Professor X) and Ian McKellen (Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto) to name a few. It had its own set of prequels too. Though the official version is that The New Mutants would be the last movie of the franchise, the trailer suggests that it would lean more towards the horror-superhero genre (a la Brightburn) rather than the traditional mutant genre. Technically speaking, Dark Phoenix would be the ‘period’.
During a rescue mission in space, Jean (Sophie Turner) is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once the X Men return home, Jean realizes that the new force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but has also made her far more unstable. Wrestling with this new power, Jean unleashes them in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain – Dark Phoenix – raising from the ashes. With things escalating out of control, Jean’s actions start hurting the ones she loves most creating a rift within the family. Now it is the responsibility of the X Men to ensure they save Jean’s soul and in the process ensure that aliens do not weaponize her.
Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Visual superiority does not transcend to success. Boasting of a cast like James McAvoy (Charles Xavier/Prof X), Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Raven Darkhölme/Mystique) and the likes, the film falls flat and is insipid. Though the future did interfere with the past, I fail to understand how the younger generation is abruptly ending the series. It is McAvoy not Stewart. It is Fassbender and not McKellen. The timeline is all mixed up. Raven goes on to question the name. She says “It is the women saving the men. The name should be X Women”.
The saving grace of the eternal 113 minute good verses evil drama is McAvoy’ Prof X. He now is dealing with death of a close friend. He has to come to terms of justifying the age old notion of the end justifying the means. Here he is shown as an egoistic and reckless person rather than the loving and caring person that he was shown earlier. We are also denied a bullet-time sequence for Quicksilver (Evan Peters), which were witty features of the previous instillments. What this installment does is it shows what it is to go on with your choices. After the success of Game of Thrones, Sophie Turner does her best to recreate the magic. This ending too is as good (read bad) as the ending of GOT. I sincerely hope The New Beginning stays true to its name and offers something more.
Though a fan, I do hope the Phoenix does not rise from the ashes.