And so we come to the end of the Fox X-Men movies (unless we eventually get New Mutants). They’ve been a mixed bag and as far as the sequels to First Class go I felt they should have ended with Days of Future Past, at the very least the focus should have shifted away from Xavier and Magneto and back to the X-Men. This is also Fox’s second attempt at an adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga.
This movie is alright. There are elements that work including highlighting Xavier’s darker side (which may have originally been done to set up Onslaught as their next movie) and the fact they stopped having Magneto come out of retirement to redo his decent into being a villain again, instead settling on a neutral anti-hero role with a personal stake in the story. While the X-Men themselves still aren’t the main characters they at least get to stick around more than they did in Apocalypse and take part in a lot of the action scenes. I also think that the final scene was a fitting note to end on for Xavier and Magneto, even though they shouldn’t have been the main characters in this.
A lot of the weaknesses as you might expect are carried over from the previous movies. There’s a scene where Mystique turns into a normal human to talk to Xavier for no reason other than the fact Jennifer Lawrence really doesn’t like wearing the Mystique makeup, this scene also includes a line that comes out of nowhere that is trying to sound progressive but had nothing to do with what they were talking about. The fact Apocalypse wasn’t focused on the X-Men means when Jean does start becoming Dark Phoenix we don’t have the attachment to these characters that we should because we spent such a small amount of time with them and their best scene was cut from the movie (on that note, where’s Jubilee?)
What makes these weaknesses so disappointing is that I think Queen of the North Sophie Turner gives a great performance here as Jean and I think a movie that focused on her connections with the rest of the X-Men would have made for a much better movie than one with lead characters whose story really should be over already who have more emotional attachment to a character killed by Jean than Jean herself. There’s plenty to enjoy about this movie but when writing a review the flaws are what stand out to me.
Looking at it compared with the other X-Men movies while it’s not exactly high on the list it’s closer to The Wolverine in terms of quality than Apocalypse. While I’m looking forward to seeing what the MCU has in store for the X-Men I am disappointed that this X-Men team never had a movie with them in the spotlight.