Dark Phoenix ★★★

Wicked dahk.

You know... I just finished watching Alien 3 and marveled that a major studio promoted and released something so relentlessly grim and nihilistic. And now here we are again. It's not without strengths - a lot of strengths - but now I see why nobody's talking about them. It's got "Dark" in the title, guys!

And yet in the end, isn't this exactly the sort of material X-Men should be daring to cover? The tortured lives of misfits? If you're going to turn the lives of gods and monsters into a soap opera, you're going to get an opera. I can't believe they think this is what X-Men fans want. But I kinda liked it! Reminded me of how when Zack Snyder took this fare's scope seriously in Man of Steel, it was the first time I liked Superman as well. Don't know if that means these films have to be quite so mordant... but I suppose that's what happens when you take the stakes of life and death seriously. After all, every "mutation" present tends to turn each delicate soul into a living weapon. I kind of like how strange this is, but god, the tone... the arrogant imperial superhero franchise made empathetic.  It felt like Fallout, like every big success that’s adopted the serial model.  For better or worse, Kingberg nailed that.