Published: Fri, June 07, 2019
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Famke Janssen supports 'Dark Phoenix' after slamming filmmakers

Famke Janssen supports 'Dark Phoenix' after slamming filmmakers

One of those presidential marching orders soon comes in.

When you watch "Dark Phoenix" and end up feeling disjointed, it could be that the script was constantly being rewritten while in production. Now that Disney and Fox have merged, the future of the X-Men is more up in the air than ever.

It's safe to say that after Game of Thrones, we've all grown rather tired watching Sophie Turner play opposite men twice her age in stories where their characters can't control themselves at the sight of her.

This underlying template also found its way into the sequels in the original trilogy - culminating in "X-Men: The Last Stand" - although again, in a manner that didn't wholly translate the qualities that made the characterization of it as a "saga" more than mere hyperbole. And the biggest show of support for the film and its star, "Game of Thrones" actress Sophie Turner, came from the person who originated the title role on the big screen - Famke Janssen.

"McAvoy does a capable job of delivering slightly better material, but is shortchanged by the film's divided attention".

On the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre in California, Turner - who acts alongside fellow Brits McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult, as well as United States star Jennifer Lawrence - explained how she prepared for the emotional climactic role. Unfortunately, her newfound skills also corrupt her and cause her to lash out. Dark Phoenix is one of the most beloved storylines in the X-Men Universe.

Mystique would be happy to know there has been an X-Women comic from Marvel. At a time when superhero blockbusters are still struggling to figure out how to package girl power for the masses, there's certainly room for a tale that grapples honestly with the unruly passions stirred up by such awakening and empowerment.

As a superhero blockbuster, Dark Phoenix is bland and dated, lacking the panache of First Class or the scope of Days of Future Past. Their leader, Vuk, played by Jessica Chastain as if she had no pigment in her skin or hair, goes Palpatine on Jean, trying to talk her over to the dark side.

But all in all, "Dark Phoenix" is a whiff.

Surprisingly, considering the focus placed on dialogue and exposition, the strength of Dark Phoenix lies in its action sequences. Dark Phoenix isn't especially ugly or upsetting, but it's no pleasure to sit through, either. Either way, to celebrate the arrival of Captain Marvel on digital storefronts, Samuel L. Jackson has taken it upon himself to recap the entire MCU in just a few short minutes.

So we're left to find our own fun. Even Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique, around whom the last three films have been built, plays a reduced role; meanwhile it's pretty clear Evan Peters was booked during the extensive third act reshoots, and so his droll take on speed king Quicksilver just disappears for much of the denouement.

There is an integrity to the X-Men world. Not so much in a "love it/hate it" way, or quite to the level of "Last Jedi", but in more of a fan expectation vs. reality kind of way. Playing an alien who wants to steal Jean's powers, Chastain's part is so tiresome that I'm surprised she sought out Kinberg for her next movie-a female-led thriller, no less.

When the alarm finally shut off, just before the denouement, my audience breathed a collective sigh of relief. But what many people didn't notice, save for one sharp-eyed fan, was another S.H.I.E.L.D. actor popping up. That's when Fox executive Emma Watts told a crowd at the annual ComicCon event in Las Vegas that "X-Men: Dark Phoenix", which is being released this week, will be the "perfect sendoff for our X-Men team".

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