The biggest question for audiences after watching Dark Phoenix is why Sansa never used her psychic and telekinetic powers during the Battle of Winterfell. She sure had fun using her powers in this movie! Maybe it’s just a Stark family trait. Bran and Sansa have these amazing abilities, but they rather just watch everyone else die. What’s also important to know is that Game of Thrones has absolutely nothing to do with the X-Men franchise. Anyway, Dark Phoenix is finally in theaters and a lot of cool stuff goes down in the film. There’s blue people, magnetic people, and Sansa - sorry, Jean Grey.
It goes without saying that since Dark Phoenix is a comic book movie with a huge history of continuity that there will be plot holes and also a lot of cool moments in equal measure. Be warned, we’re going into full spoiler territory. Check out the list to see five plot holes and five awesome moments from Dark Phoenix!
10 Plot Hole: Xavier The Surrogate Dad
Xavier lying to Jean about the true nature of her parents brings into question how many other things he has lied about. Does Xavier actually have hair, but wears a bald cap in order to gain sympathy from the bald community? Unforgivable.
There’s a lot of interesting dramatic tension surrounding the relationship between Xavier and Jean. The idea that they both have similar psychic powers creates an immediate bond between the two characters. However, there’s some elements revolving around their backstory that don’t quite add up. X-Men: Apocalypse establishes that Jean has been a student at Xavier’s school for a while. What that movie doesn’t explain is just how close Xavier and Jean really are. This film on the other hand makes it seem like Xavier has been her surrogate father since she was a little girl. It’s not new for a series of movies featuring serialized storytelling to tease out plot elements over a long period of time. Rather than being natural plot progression, the nature of Xavier and Jean’s relationship ends up feeling like a soft reboot of their characters.
9 Plot Hole: The Villains
It’s kind of crazy to think that the biggest villain of the entire X-Men franchise ends up being… *Drum Roll Please*
…A happily married housewife that likes to throw wine parties for her successful friends?
There’s no denying the fact that it’s a lot of fun seeing Jessica Chastain play against type. But, there is little to no context surrounding her character’s backstory. The film briefly explains that Chastain’s character comes from a race of aliens that need the Phoenix Force in order to save their race. The explanation pretty much stops there. The alien race is never given a name. Also, the movie doesn’t explain how the aliens know about the Phoenix Force in the first place. It’s understandable that Dark Phoenix has a lot of ground to cover in terms of its story. However, it would have been interesting to learn a bit more about the villains.
8 Plot Hole: Jean’s Past
Having the ability to read minds must be a blessing and a curse. Imagine all the dirty laundry one would discover. Like finding out Charles Xavier actually isn’t bald.
JUST GIVE IT UP ALREADY CHARLES! WE’RE ONTO YOU!
Jean’s psychic powers have always been one of the character’s defining traits. Although Dark Phoenix is more concerned with Jean’s physical capabilities, it nonetheless reminds audiences that she can read people’s minds. So it’s interesting that Jean’s psychic powers don’t have more of an impact on her backstory. It isn’t until Jean becomes the Dark Phoenix that she finds out her biological father is still alive. One questions how Jean didn’t find out about this sooner. It’s assumed that Xavier never allowed Jean into his thoughts. This notion is based on conjecture and one can’t help but wonder how Jean never read Charles thoughts on the matter before this point. The death of Jean’s parents are such a crucial aspect to her backstory. It seems likely that she would’ve somehow used her psychic abilities to solve the mystery sooner. Either way, the film’s opening car crash sequence is well done.
7 Plot Hole: Breathing In Space
Dark Phoenix’s space sequence makes space travel seem fun. The government rocket ship in that scene kept on spinning around like a ride at the county fair. If society knew that’s what it’s actually like to ride a rocket ship then maybe the world would have more astronauts at this point.
Quicksilver running around and saving people has always been one of the great pleasures of watching the X-Men movies. This film’s space sequence featuring Quicksilver is no exception. What gets a little confusing is how he is able to do all of this without a helmet. When Nightcrawler and Quicksilver first start saving people they aren’t wearing a space suit. They are somehow able to enter zero gravity and save some helpless astronauts.
Some people might be thinking that this is too nit picky. It’s just a comic book movie, right? Where things become perplexing is when Nightcrawler makes a point to wear an astronaut’s helmet later on in the scene. This choice immediately makes viewers wonder how Nightcrawler and Quicksilver were able to breathe minutes earlier. Who knows.
6 Plot Hole: Aging
The characters in the X-Men films have a lot of incredible powers. Yet, what might be the characters’ most impressive power of all is their ability to never age. Magneto and Xavier have to be the best looking fifty-year-olds of all time.
5 Awesome: Jean’s Power
It would be strange if strong people in real life developed glowy cracks in their faces every time they flexed their strength. Imagine going to the gym and seeing a bunch of dudes powerlifting as their faces begin to burst open into neon lava. Weird.
Seeing Jean’s face light up isn’t so weird when watching Dark Phoenix. It’s actually pretty awesome. X-Men: The Last Stand showcased the lengths of Jean’s powers. Conversely, that movie doesn’t demonstrate Jean’s strength as inventively as Dark Phoenix. Watching Jean and Magneto battle over control of a helicopter is a great way to show that she’s even stronger than one of the founding X-Men characters. Seeing Jean manipulate Charles to walk is incredible. There are plenty of other scenes that demonstrate Jean’s God-like superpowers. Each sequence is awesome and terrifying to behold.
4 Awesome: Train Fight
Rumor has it that an alternate title for the film had been X-Men: TRAINing Day. The studio thought that title just wouldn’t sell for some reason.
The X-Men franchise has already had its fair share of impressive action scenes. There’s no doubt that Dark Phoenix’s climactic train battle ranks as one of the best fight sequences in the entire series. What’s cool is that the battle allows each of the major mutants to show off their particular skillset. Not only that, but the geography of the scene is really clean and the audience gets a good sense of where the characters are located within the train. There’s something so incredibly therapeutic about the scene ending with Magneto crushing an entire train car like an empty soda can.
3 Awesome: Magneto
Does anyone ever wonder how superheroes decide when it’s too much to don their full costume? Spider-Man is always losing his mask, Thor likes to wear jeans sometimes etc. Dark Phoenix can also be added to this list. Magneto wears a giant helmet on his head, but clearly thinks it’d be too ridiculous to wear his tights and cape. One has to appreciate Magneto's minimalist style.
Aside from looking amazing in a metal helmet, Michael Fassbender continues to give the character a lot of humanity. Fassbender is able to tangibly show Magneto’s internal struggle of wanting to do right by humanity but also wanting to do even more right by mutants. What’s also really cool is that the movie features a lot of sequences where Magneto is able to casually control the lengths of his power. It’s a natural evolution that dates back to the early days where Magneto was merely a submarine lifter. If Dark Phoenix truly is the last of this iteration of the X-Men then at least we can say Magneto goes out on a high note.
2 Awesome: Team Work
Yeah, there’s the X-Men. But, how awesome would it be if Mystique, Nightcrawler, and Beast formed their own team called The Blue Man (And One Woman) Group?
Even though that sounds great, all of the X-Men work better when they’re all together. Dark Phoenix features a lot of fun team-based scenes. Each of the different X-Men serving a different function in the space rescue is easily one of the most outlandishly (in a good way) comic book inspired sequences the franchise has ever pulled off. Who doesn’t love seeing Cyclops use his laser vision as a canon? The train scene also shows each of the X-Men using their respective powers to help one another. It’s a reminder that there isn’t an “I” in X-Men. X-Min would just look weird.
1 Awesome: Casualties
One would think that there would be more casualties in a film titled X-Men: Apocalypse. Nope! Dark Phoenix easily has some of the biggest deaths in the franchise.
Mystique’s death is one of the most emotional scenes in the movie. Death sucks, but it works incredibly well for dramatic purposes. Especially when a character as pivotal as Mystique dies. The reason this works so dramatically well for Dark Phoenix is because Mystique has been the emotional center for these movies since X-Men: First Class. Mystique’s death is also shocking due to the fact that audiences rarely anticipate the death of a character played by a movie star as big as Jennifer Lawrence. The absence of Mystique is definitely felt, but the movie ends up having high emotional stakes within that absence.