Of all the superhero franchises out there, the X-Men series has to be the most inconsistent of them all. X1 walked the dangerous line of being cheesy, but still laid some nice groundwork for the series. I’d say one of the first superhero films that felt grounded in the real world. X2, in my humble opinion, is one of the best superhero movies ever made. It’s non-stop action that still finds room for emotion and character. And then X3 pretty much destroyed the entire franchise.
But like a phoenix from the flames, new life was breathed into the series with X-Men: First Class. In a world where prequels can sometimes be the kiss of death, First Class blew it out of the water. And then X-Men: Days of Future Past took it to the next level. Not only did it do a fantastic job brining a classic comic book story to life, it also saved the X-Men universe from X3. Only to be destroyed again by X-Men: Apocalypse.
OK, that may be a little harsh. Apocalypse gives X3 a run for its money on being the worse of the franchise. It may only be a slight hair ahead because it didn’t completely destroy the franchise by killing off a bunch of major characters. The next X-Men movie can pick up almost as if Apocalypse had never happened.
And by now you probably know that the next X-Men movie is going to re-visit the Dark Phoenix story line. They vow to get it right this time. The response to this from some fans has been: “Well, it can’t be any worse than X3 or Apocalypse.” Well, I wouldn’t bet Xavier’s mansion on that one. Personally, I feel it’s a little to early in this new series to delve into the story. At least the first trilogy had been setting up Dark Phoenix from movie one.
Let’s try to find some good points. At first, I was a little worried that Sophie Turner would not be able to carry the weight of the Dark Phoenix story line. But this season of Game of Thrones has shown us that she doesn’t just have the talent of playing the victim. She can be a tough ass when need be. So, watching Sansa herself go from weak to strong gives me hope that she will be able to carry this movie. And though she was somewhat forgettable in Apocalypse, that really wasn’t her movie. Dark Phoenix will be.
The other disappointing Dark Phoenix news that hit just this week was that the movie would not have the cosmic element as the comics did. Which is odd, since the roll of Shi’ar Empress Lilandra has been filled by Jessica Chastain. Hmmm… Even if the X-Men do not get into space, will there still be a cosmic element to the story?
The one thing that made the comic book storyline engaging was Mastermind’s manipulation of Jean Grey. We’ve seen Matstermind as Jason Stryker, William’s unfortunate son. Has that character’s timeline changed as well thanks to Days of Future Past? Or will the writers skip over that part of the story as well.
Yes, I know I’m pre-judging a movie before it’s been released. But we fans of the movies and the comics are the ones who the writers should be aiming to please. I’ll be there opening weekend regardless. So let’s hope next November, Dark Phoenix continues to raise the X-Men series. And Sophie Turner’s career.