Weekend Watch: Dark Phoenix Post-Mortem
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers for Dark Phoenix.
Welcome to Weekend Watch, a recurring feature where we highlight some of the best geek-related videos around the web. Whether it’s short films, behind-the-scenes clips, video essays, or top 10 countdowns, the only requirement is that they are about our favorite geeky topics!
In this edition of Weekend Watch, we’re reflecting on the box office failure of Dark Phoenix while trying to uncover what exactly went wrong in the process. In retrospect, it’s easy to pinpoint several critical factors in the franchise-killing film, a few of which we will try to uncover here. But what exactly went wrong? That’s what we’re here to find out because as we will learn, everyone has an opinion on why Dark Phoenix failed.
Starting things off, we have a great video that details the many production and marketing issues that Dark Phoenix faced. Next, we have a video that describes how the film might have destroyed the franchise. Following this is a video that makes a case for why it repeats the mistakes of X-Men: The Last Stand. Afterward, we have a video detailing what is missing from the film; along with one that describes its biggest problem. Finally, we’ll close things out with a duo of videos that explore the effects that Dark Phoenix has on the legacy of the franchise.
Dark Phoenix: What Happened And What’s Next?
Kicking things off, we have a breakdown of what exactly happened behind the scenes of X-Men: Dark Phoenix leading up to its release. Coming from Collider Video, this episode of Movie Talk delves into the juicy details that leaked about the somewhat-messy production. Naturally, there are opinions on how Marvel should integrate the X-Men in the MCU. If you’re familiar with the situation that the film found itself in, there are no surprises here. If you’re not, then this information will establish some context for everything moving forward.
Why Dark Phoenix Destroyed The X-Men
This video from iamthatroby breaks down why Dark Phoenix may have permanently tarnished the classic storyline. According to the host, there are five particular reasons why the film failed. Simon Kinberg himself, the misuse of the ’90s setting, and the way that Jean and Scott’s relationship feels botched. Additionally, he also skewers the film’s would-be feminist message, as well as the fact that it shares many similarities with X-Men: The Last Stand. While Dark Phoenix is a better execution of the story, it’s ultimately not by much.
Dark Phoenix Repeats The Worst Sins of X-Men: The Last Stand
Speaking of The Last Stand, this video from IGN argues that a significant issue with Dark Phoenix is that is repeats sins of the past. In particular, the hosts hone in on the notion that the film repackages much of what The Last Stand did. They also cite many of the differences that make Kinberg’s film a far cry from the source material. If anything, this video proves that giving Kinberg a second shot at tackling the story was probably a mistake.
What X-Men: Dark Phoenix Is Missing
Up next, we have an excellent video essay from Captain Midnight that tries to explain what Dark Phoenix is missing. While the video looks at many of the movie’s problems, it also explores what worked in the adaptation. As they point out, there’s an internal struggle happening between being a bombastic space epic and a little intimate character drama. As a result, the film is a muddled mix of the two. It also cites some of the character work that is more interesting in concept than execution as a fault. Another critical observation is Jean’s lack of agency in the story, which makes her arc feel shallow. The lackluster villains are also discussed, along with why Magneto’s arc falls flat for the most part. Overall, there are some solid observations here.
Dark Phoenix’s Biggest Problem
Up next, this video from WatchMojo also tries to assess the film’s many flaws. It argues that the humanity of Chris Claremont’s classic storyline has been lost in the adaptation – despite some plot similarities. Dark Phoenix also messes up the death of a particular character, which is one of the many symptoms of its failure.
Why The X-Men Franchise & Dark Phoenix Failed
Switching gears, this video from Mr. Sunday Movies takes a macro approach to the effects of Dark Phoenix’s failure. The franchise has had its ups and downs, but the film was very much the final nail in the coffin for Fox’s version of X-Men. By humorously analyzing how Dark Phoenix fails to work as a satisfying conclusion to the franchise, they try to understand how it ultimately crumbled beneath Fox’s feet.
Dark Phoenix Postmortem: An X-Men Franchise Retrospective
Finally, we have a post-mortem retrospective from Midnight’s Edge. The video starts by running through the history of the franchise, entry by entry. In addition to taking a look at the legacy of the franchise after Dark Phoenix, it also ponders what the future might hold under Disney’s wing.
What are your thoughts about the way that the production of Dark Phoenix was handled? Where do you think the movie went wrong? Does it affect the legacy of Fox’s X-Men movies? Make sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!