X-Men: Dark Phoenix
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X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

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Dark Phoenix is the latest movie entry in the popular X-men comic book series, launching 10 years later from where events left off at the end of the 2016 film “Apocalypse.” Sophie Turner reprises her role as Jean Grey, displaying telekinetic powers like no mutant has ever wielded before, which draws the attention and concern of Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy). Charles’s former friend Magneto (Michael Fassbender), is equally as intrigued, but more intent at exploiting her abilities for personal gain rather than limiting them. After becoming heroes for saving the civilization from certain doom in “Apocalypse,” the X-men team of Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and Storm (Alexandra Shipp), forge ahead in an uncertain world in the year 1992. The shape-shifting Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and teleporter Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) join them along the way. Tensions are still high among humans and mutants, but this potential for war is put aside when the group is concerned about Jean Grey’s lack of control of her thoughts after a solar flare disrupts their latest mission in space. The result leaves Jean confused and marveling at how much strength her powers have gained, and she begins having illusions that force her to take on the knew identity known as Phoenix. Her internal struggle threatens her close relationship with the leader of the group, Cyclops. Through a psychic connection, Professor X realizes the dual personalities of good and evil within Jean, prompting him to attempt to bring out her original good intentions as they battle against her impulses set on destruction. Together, with the help of the other X-men, they hope to inspire Jean to stay true to peace and justice in the world by working in unison to reign in her immoral visions.

Dark Phoenix is the second iteration of the famous storyline on the silver screen, having been touched upon in the final moments of “X2: X-men United,” and further explored in “X-men: The Last Stand.” Director Simon Kinberg, dissatisfied with how Jean Grey was portrayed previously, adapted “Dark Phoenix” to follow a new path after the events of “X-men: Days Of Future Past” reset the timeline in the series. Because of this, Kinberg was allowed to follow the source material more closely, examining the full extent of Jean’s transformation, and delve into whether or not she is a gift that can be tamed or a force so malevolent it must be destroyed.