It's being called "minor league." And like other critics, I really can't muster up much enthusiasm for "Dark Phoenix."
But the film does put a female character, played by Sophie Turner from "Game of Thrones," at the center of an "X-Men" movie, alongside a terrific female villain, played by Jessica Chastain.
Professor X, played by James McAvoy, gets challenged on his home turf by Jennifer Lawrence's Raven. She confronts him, saying, "We're taking bigger and bigger risks and for what? Please, tell me it's not your ego!"
As the movie opens, the mutants have made peace with the humans, and Charles Xavier is helping rescue astronauts in space.
But trouble begins when Jean Grey, raised since childhood by Professor X, gets zapped and becomes Dark Phoenix.
This friend turns into foe in spectacular fashion, despite the best efforts of Raven, who tells her, "You're my family, Jean - no matter what."
Lawrence is seen way too briefly. But the pull between evil and good within Jean is dramatized well when she visits Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender.
"When I lose control, bad things happen," Jean tells him. "But it feels good."
This is, as the teens like to say, crazy! Ditto for a stand-off on 5th Avenue and the wild ride that ends the movie.
Sophie's fans are not going to be disappointed.
"Dark Phoenix" has been billed as a conclusion to "The X-Men" series of movies that began back in the year 2000. But given that these pictures have made more than $5.5 billion, it's doubtful "The X-Men" saga will end here.
The new one is from 20th Century Fox and distributed by Disney, which is owned by the same parent company as abc7.
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Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Dark Phoenix,' the latest film in the X-Men franchise
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