X-Men: Dark Phoenix first reviews call it an underwhelming end to an era

Jess Lee
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

From Digital Spy

The first reviews for X-Men: Dark Phoenix have come out, and critics are pretty underwhelmed.

The consensus appears to be that the superhero movie is an unspectacular and fairly unoriginal entry in the X-Men franchise (particularly for a film that's supposed to be marking the end of an era), but at the same time it's not offensively bad – in fact, some publications even use the word "solid" to describe the movie.

Read what the critics had to say below...

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Digital Spy – Ian Sandwell

"In hindsight, Dark Phoenix's delay from November 2018 hasn't helped. With it repositioned as the 'culmination' of the X-Men series, it suffers in comparison to Avengers: Endgame and one key third-act beat is a carbon copy of a Captain Marvel moment.

"It leaves the movie in a tricky position of being a well-made but overly familiar entry in a crowded superhero field. Combine that with the mixed build-up to Dark Phoenix's release, and the movie just doesn't do enough, unfortunately."

Mashable – Angie Han

"There's no memorable soundtrack, no thrilling action sequences, not even a detectable sense of humor. Dark Phoenix isn't especially ugly or upsetting, but it's no pleasure to sit through, either. It's just there, robotically going through the motions of recounting a story, without stopping to consider why it's bothering in the first place."

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

The Hollywood Reporter - Todd McCarthy

"Compared to the conclusions of other major franchises – the most recent being Avengers: Endgame – this one seems distinctly minor-league. The men who have anchored most of the X-Men outings are just spinning their wheels here, and while Jean's central dilemma is certainly dramatic enough, and is most closely entwined with the actions of two other women, what should have registered as genuinely powerful instead plays out in a pretty low-key way. In no way does this feel like a fulsome, satisfying destination to a journey that started two decades ago and logged about 30 hours in the telling."

Entertainment Weekly – Leah Greenblatt

"It’s true that X-Men have never exactly been the party clowns of the Marvel Universe; their hero status has always been conditional to fearful humans, and the chosen family of mutants they’ve landed in is less choice than necessity. Why should they have to banter for us, too? Still, for what is being called a final installment, it all tends to feel both anticlimactic and a little grim in the end."

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Empire – Ian Freer

"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."

Metro – Larushka Ivan Zadeh

"Solid enough superhero filler, as X-Men movies go, this is not First Class but it’s no Apocalypse either... A missable culmination to the 20-year X-Men franchise thus far."

Variety – Owen Gleiberman

"Dark Phoenix took me by surprise. Simon Kinberg, who wrote and directed it... is a more sensual and intuitive filmmaker than Brett Ratner. He doesn’t pad out a generic story with the rollicking eye candy of mutant effects. He uses effects to tell the story."

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is out on Wednesday, June 5 in the UK and Friday, June 7 in the US.

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