The final installment of the current X-Men franchise, Dark Phoenix hit theaters back in June, but if you have a hard time remembering that you're not alone. The film was largely forgettable, if box office receipts are any indication with the film having the distinction of being the lowest gross of all 12 X-Men films released by 20th Century Fox. With that sort of performance, Dark Phoenix has been the butt of quite a few jokes -- including Xfinity's listing of the movie as "an X-Men fan's worst nightmare"-- and now Screen Junkies is getting in on it as well with their Honest Trailer for the film.
There's no real way to put this other than directly: the Dark Phoenix Honest Trailer is pretty brutal, pulling no punches as it goes for the weaknesses in the film. How brutal? Well, right off the bat they compare the film to what happens when the human body dies.
"From Disney comes the last film in this X Universe to remind us that just like the human body, when a franchise dies, it craps itself," the video claims.
Now, it's worth noting that Dark Phoenix isn't a "Disney" film per se. It falls under the Disney umbrella due to the Disney-Fox deal with the film being made under 20th Century Fox and then distributed by Disney after the deal. That means Disney did ultimately have to answer for it by way of the company's lackluster earnings report in a relatively recent conference call with investors. In that call Disney CFO Christine McCarthy blamed the performance of 20th Century Fox films -- including Dark Phoenix -- for the numbers.
”[The Fox] film studio had an operating loss in the third quarter of about $170 million which was driven by the underperformance of theatrical titles including ‘Dark Phoenix,’ marketing for future releases, and development expenses,” McCarthy explained on the call.
Outside of that, the Honest Trailer also goes in pretty hard for the film essentially having a recycled plot from X-Men 3 and points out some of its major flaws in that respect, namely that they didn't really offer a lot of Jean Grey or the cosmic potential of the Phoenix Force, two elements you'd think the story would need. The trailer also pointed out the weird timeline issue that is the X-Men films, specifically noting that with the way the franchise has been skipping decades, Beast should be in his 50s.
Ultimately, the Honest Trailer largely writes off Dark Phoenix as a pretty dismal end to the X-Men franchise (in this incarnation at least) but it isn't all gloom. They do make a solid suggestion for fans: maybe try reading some X-Men comics instead.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is now available on Digital and home media.
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