When I want to comment on something, but I don’t have a hell of a lot to say, I’m going to label it a “Quick Take.”
So, I just saw the Dark Phoenix movie. I had to. The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the high points of superhero comics. It’s also one of the things that I was really excited about when I was getting back into comics. Without the Dark Phoenix saga, we might have an entire other room for something other than comics.
This movie definitely benefited from low expectation. I’d literally heard nothing good about this film. And by-and-large, what I’d heard was fair. But sitting in the theater, it was okay; better than I was expecting. I didn’t hate it, and on balance, I’m not unhappy I saw it.
But, make no mistake; this is not a good movie. There’s a death that felt gratuitous and there are plot elements that feel either tacked on or poorly thought out. The biggest problem for me was that the original Dark Phoenix was all about internal conflict. It’s a long build up to Jean being corrupted by the power and changing from Phoenix to Dark Phoenix. Ultimately, Jean is the hero of the story because she sacrifices herself to keep her friends safe. The movie shares a lot of these elements, but unfolds in what seems to be about 72 hours. These elements are all eliminated or trivialized. If you’re looking for this dimension of the story, you’d do better to reread the original.
My favorite thing about the movie is that it was nice to see the old-school Marvel logo with the flipping comic images rather than the movie clip version that they now use in Marvel Studios Films.