Early Reactions To ‘Dark Phoenix’ Are Painting It As A Deeply Flawed Ending To The ‘X-Men’ Franchise

20th Century Fox

Dark Phoenix will arrive in theaters on June 7 to formally close Fox’s X-Men franchise. Our own Mike Ryan, in his review, called the movie “lousy” and an underwhelming installment that’s filled with speeches and seems to kind of give up. The film went through reshoots and allegedly changed its ending due to reportedly awkward similarities with another recent superhero flick (Captain Marvel?). Now that the review embargo has ended, reviews are pouring out, and they aren’t impressive.

The plot, of course, follows the effects Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey becoming possessed by the Phoenix cosmic force, which makes her incredibly powerful but entirely unstable. The other X-Men band together to stop and/or save her, and Jessica Chastain surfaced in trailers as a mysterious character who never even seemed to have a name (although IMDb is calling her Vuk). Some critics claimed that they didn’t catch her name in the movie either, and this sounds like, overall, an unintentionally messy film that was already tracking to be one of the lowest X-Men openings in the franchise’s history.

While Mike Ryan’s review goes into great detail about Dark Phoenix, he also tweeted that the film “rose from the ashes to smite the X-Men franchise with one last lousy conclusion.” He added that “most of the actors looked like they’d rather be anywhere else.”

Ryan was largely joined by critics who agreed (as of this writing, the film holds a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) that this film didn’t fulfill its promise. The resulting tweets don’t pull many punches and say the reshoots were obvious.

A few critics, however, did enjoy the movie, pointing toward the Hans Zimmer score and some nice character moments as strong points.

Dark Phoenix lands in theaters on June 7.