Ranking: Dark Phoenix

This is the second time Marvel has made a film version of Dark Phoenix, the greatest X-Men saga of all time. The first attempt was X-Men 3: Last Stand, which was an awful movie, overloaded with pointless special effects and actors phoning in their performances, and culminating in a visually impressive but logically dubious fight scene in San Francisco Bay. This attempt is better than that one, although still not a great movie. I’ve ranked it Okay.

On a mission to save the space shuttle, X-Man Marvel Girl (civilian identity: Jean Grey) is exposed to a weird cosmic force which her body absorbs, the Phoenix Force. This gives her access to a cosmic level of power, but due to her traumatic past, Jean isn’t mentally stable enough to handle it. Fearing her own abilities, Jean flees the X-Mansion and returns to her childhood home, where her father is not especially happy to see her again. When the X-Men come and try to persuade Jean to return with them, things soon escalate into a physical confrontation where Jean accidentally kills teammate Raven. Now on the run and convinced that even her closest friends are against her, Jean is vulnerable to persuasion by the bad guys, members of a shape-shifting alien race called the D’Bari, who wish to take the Phoenix Force for themselves.

I think the biggest problem here is that in the comics, the main villains for the Dark Phoenix saga are the Hellfire Club, a sort of Victorian social club of rich and powerful members, each of whom also happens to be an evil mutant. They’re a pretty awesome group of villains, but the X-Men films already used them, in the X-Men: First Class movie. This movie uses instead the D’Bari, who are pretty generic. I found it difficult to find the D’Bari a real menace, or compelling in any way when they were on screen. Do the X-Men manage to defeat them and save Jean at the end? Probably, since there’s no reason to think the D’Bari are sticking around.

I have previously ranked Ant-Man and the WaspAquaman, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers movies, the Batman moviesBlack PantherCaptain America: Civil War, Captain Marvel, Dr. StrangeGuardians of the Galaxy 2LoganMan of Steel, the Man-Thing, the non-Marvel and non-DC comic movies, the other DC movies, the Spider-Man moviesSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the summer 2015 comic movies, the Superman moviesThor: RagnarokWonder Woman, and the X-Men movies.

As ever, my ranking system is
Green=excellent  Blue=pretty good  Black=Okay  Red=avoid

Here’s the master list of all comics movies I’ve rated so far, in order from best to worst:

American Splendor
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Iron Man
Heavy Metal (1981)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Superman (1978)
Captain America
Wonder Woman (2017)
Batman Begins (2005)
Captain America: Civil War
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
Avengers: Endgame
Spider-Man (2002)
X-Men 2: X-Men United
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Superman II
Batman (1989)
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Dr. Strange
The Dark Knight (2008)
Logan (2017)
Iron Man 3
The Wolverine (2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Sin City (2005)
X-Men: First Class
X-Men (2000)
Captain Marvel
Black Panther
Man of Steel (2013)
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
Swamp Thing (1982)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Iron Man 2
Watchmen (2009)
Batman Forever (1995)
Superman Returns (2006)
Thor 2: The Dark World
Dark Phoenix
Incredible Hulk (2008)
Mystery Men (1999)
Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Man-Thing (2005)
Superman III
Supergirl (1984)
X-Men 3: Last Stand
Hulk (2003)
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Batman and Robin (1997)
Batman Returns (1992)
Superman IV

Amazing Spider-Man (2012) (Haven’t seen)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) (Haven’t seen)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) (Haven’t seen)
Batman (1966) (Haven’t seen)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Haven’t seen)
Catwoman (Haven’t seen)
Constantine (Haven’t seen)
Deadpool (Haven’t seen)
Green Lantern (Haven’t seen)
Hellboy (Haven’t seen)
Judge Dredd (Haven’t seen)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) (Haven’t seen)
V for Vendetta (Haven’t seen)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Haven’t seen)

One Comment on “Ranking: Dark Phoenix

  1. Pingback: Ranking: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Nicholas Bruner

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