GIFTED: Sophie Turner stars as Jean Grey/Phoenix, in the latest X-men movie Dark Phoenix.

WHAT with the many sequels, prequels and spin-offs, missing a few episodes of the X-men franchise can leave a viewer feeling confused.

This is compounded by different actors playing the same character in different movies.
So when a character is killed off in a movie set chronologically earlier than other movies they appear in it’s hard to know if it’s all part of a bigger plan or whether the writers have just stopped caring about chronology.

This reviewer eventually decided to forget about the other movies in the franchise and focus on this one. It is not amongst the best in the series, following a now predictable storyline and a script that give the star-studded cast little to work with.

It stars Sophie Turner (Sansa from Game of Thrones) as the mutant Jean Grey, who was played by Famke Janssen in the first movie.

True to X-men tradition, we meet Jean as a child, first discovering her powers – telekinesis and telepathy – with tragic consequences.

Adopted into the X-men mansion by Charles Xavier (the James McAvoy-with-hair version, not the Patrick Stewart one).

Jump forward to 1992 and Jean is heading off with other X-men on a space adventure led by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).

STRANGE POWERS: Sophie Turner encounters an ethereal Jessica Chastain as alien, Vuk.

After a close encounter with a cosmic power source Jean’s powers are exaggerated to god-like destructiveness and she turns a bit dark.

There is also a team of aliens led by a spookily ethereal Jessica Chastain.

Michael Fassbender makes an appearance as Magneto who must, yet again, join forces with his nemesis, Professor X (the bald-but-still James McAvoy version), in order to save everyone.

The actors aren’t given a lot to work with but make up for it with plenty of special effects lightning bolts, slow-motion effects and blue skin.

Even the action scenes don’t provide the actors with much to do as most of their powers are telekinetic, so there is lots of intense glaring and hand gestures.

I did enjoy the mutant who fights with his dreadlocks, Ariki, played by New Zealand actor and stuntman Andrew Stehlin.

Otherwise, I can’t help thinking this franchise has seen better days.

7/10

diane.mccarthy@thebeacon.co.nz

 

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