Today sees the new Marvel movie X-Men: Dark Phoenix hit cinemas, but it hasn’t been going down particularly well with critics.
Expectations were high following the runaway commercial and critical success of Avegners: Endgame, but it seems that Dark Phoenix will not be following in its footsteps.
At the time of writing, review gathering website Rotten Tomatoes said that the film had the low rating of 17%, claiming that it “ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc – with deeply disappointing results”.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph dubbed it “excruciating, exhausting and with little reason to exist” in a one-star review, while Forbes dubbed it “better than Apocalypse, Last Stand, and Origins: Wolverine, but nowhere near as good as the best half of the series”.
Gamespot were less than thrilled as well, calling Dark Phoenix “a boring, plotless mess”. “You could blame it on the cast being too large, or the script trying to juggle too many things, or the narrative not really knowing what it wanted to say or how it wanted to say it, but the reality is it doesn’t really matter,” they concluded.
The Wrap echoed these sentiments, calling it “a disappointingly average superhero flick, with a familiar story, disinterested actors, some cool action sequences, and a whole lot of missed opportunities”, while Empire were slightly more forgiving in writing: “Better than Last Stand or Apocalypse but never hitting the heights of X2, Dark Phoenix thrives when its heroes are front and centre. If this is the end, it’s a solid rather than spectacular goodbye.”
The Guardian also slammed the film by giving it a cold two stars out of five, but did praise it for James McAvoy’s role as Xavier.
“He is more opaque, more worldly, more secretive – and drinking more heavily,” wrote critic Peter Bradshaw. “For the first time, we realise that he is not the idealist that we might have imagined. Raven is increasingly angry at Xavier’s recklessness and egotism, risking his pupils’ lives for his own glory – maybe as a result of being too close to the Washington political establishment.”
This comes after Evans Peters has spoken of his sadness at his character Quicksilver’s relationship with Magneto remains unresolved in Dark Phoenix– adding that he hopes the storyline with his on-screen father is explored and resolved in future films in the franchise.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is in cinemas now.