Who Dies in 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix'?

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All of the X-Men movies have opened with at least $53 million, so we see Dark Phoenix may not even hit that number. Chris Claremont and John Byrne took the X-Men to another level with their seminal tale that helped fuel the X-Men for the better part of the '80s and '90s. With Disney taking the reins of the X-(Wo) men series, they have an opportunity to give her exactly what she wants.

Between multiple release date delays and several rounds of reshoots, the production of the latest X-Men movie Dark Phoenix wasn't easy. The original "X-Men" film, released in 2000, revitalized the superhero genre after it had been brought low by a series of bad late '90s movies.

Though the movie takes its title from the well-known "Dark Phoenix Saga" from the X-Men comic books, writer-director Simon Kinberg diverges significantly from the source material.

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The makers have indicated "Phoenix" is the culmination of the franchise's long run. "Dark Phoenix" marks Turner's second time playing the character, following 2016's "X-Men: Apocalypse".

Dark Phoenix, which is expected to be the final entry into the main franchise that began in 2000 with the original X-Men, now holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 21 percent, indicating this percentage of critics gave it a positive review. The X-Men are now beloved celebrities who go on high-profile rescue missions, and Xavier has a direct line to the US president. Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) accomplishes the near-impossible and is hailed as a hero on Earth. But for a series supposedly dedicated to the pleasure of superhero movies, "Dark Phoenix" somehow ends up illustrating their limits. There's way too much darkness, and not enough quicksilver wit.

The first X-Men, way back in 2000, deserves more credit (or blame, depending on your point of view) for ushering in the superhero-infested theatrical waters we now live in.

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By the time "Days of Future Past" rolled around three years later, Vaughn had departed the sequel in favour of Kingsman: The Secret Service. Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) makes a return, too, with his iconic "BAMF" teleportation inexplicably dubbed over with what honest-to-god sounds like a totally unaltered whip crack sound effect. Turner has the toughest job of the group as the de facto lead of the film. "If someone asks me", she declared. But as a stolid villain, she comes off as more distant and cold than turmoiled. Much as it might be fun in theory to see Hugh Jackman's Wolverine/Logan or Sophie Turner's Phoenix/Jean Grey interact with the new generation of Marvel Cinematic Universe superheroes, the logistics of cramming them together would nearly certainly be more trouble than their worth. One of the film's key dramatic moments hinges on the relationship between the two, but the wooden acting and poor writing makes it totally hollow.

Somewhere along the way, though, Dark Phoenix loses sight of what it was trying to say about female anger, or male arrogance, or love or rejection or oppression or forgiveness. It's puzzling why Simon Kinberg would shoot these scenes again so similarly.

Dark Phoenix takes place primarily in 1992.

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Kambole Campbell of Little White Lies said that the film's attempts to be dark often leave it feeling empty. That sentimentality ultimately doesn't pay off because of the lackluster performances of the cast and the shoddy scaffolding of the first two acts.