Dark Phoenix 1.0 stars

Dark Phoenix movie poster

It didn’t have to end this way — in such thoroughly standard smash ‘em up fashion, with minor heroes dutifully duking it out with faceless hordes for punchy-power bolt minute after punchy-power-bolt minute until the mayhem quotient has been met and the principals can finally square off for their climactic lightshow. It didn’t have to end with so little emotion, so little meaning — with a sad little speech about evolving, for Phoenix’s sake. It didn’t have to, because a fair chunk of writer-director Simon Kinberg’s take on one of the more famous storylines in Marvel Comics’ history plays less like a superhero movie and more like a small-scale, humanly significant trauma drama. (Except the trauma victim will maybe destroy the world if she can’t recover.) We open, a la Shazam!, with a little kid in the backseat of a car who inadvertently causes a frightening, slo-mo, psyche-scarring crash. But this little kid has mutant superpowers, and so she gets scooped up in the protective arms of Charles Xavier and taken into the X-Men family. Unfortunately, there are lots of ways to screw up as a parent (surprise, surprise, it’s Xavier who gets the movie’s real emotional arc), especially when you’re trying to make the world a safe place for your kid through an unending PR campaign of heroic do-goodery. That part of the story was surprisingly thoughtful and engaging — almost tragic, even. But it seems it wasn’t explodey enough, fighty enough, actiony enough for a supermovie. Because what do you know: here comes the alien invasion, and the save-the-world stakes, and the sad sameness of fulfilled expectations. 2019.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

10:40am, 1:20pm

AMC La Jolla

8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

1:30pm

AMC Mission Valley

1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

12:25pm, 3:15pm, 6:25pm, 9:25pm

AMC Otay Ranch

2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

12:50pm, 7:10pm

Thursday, June 27

12:50pm, 7:10pm

AMC Palm Promenade

770 Dennery Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

1:10pm, 4:15pm

AMC Plaza Bonita

3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

1:20pm, 4:00pm, 6:50pm, 9:30pm

Thursday, June 27

1:15pm, 4:00pm

AMC Temecula 10

27531 Ynez Road, Temecula, CA, 951-699-4970 | Directions

Thursday, June 27

11:15am, 2:00pm, 4:50pm, 7:35pm, 10:20pm

Angelika Film Center & Café

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

2:15pm, 4:50pm, 7:25pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, June 27

2:15pm, 4:50pm, 7:25pm, 10:00pm

Edwards Mira Mesa

10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

12:25pm, 4:10pm, 10:30pm

Thursday, June 27

10:30am, 1:20pm, 4:10pm, 7:15pm, 10:05pm

Friday, June 28

7:55pm, 10:45pm

Saturday, June 29

7:55pm, 10:45pm

Sunday, June 30

7:55pm, 10:45pm

Regal Escondido

350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

2:15pm, 5:00pm, 7:45pm, 10:25pm

Thursday, June 27

10:40am, 1:40pm, 4:30pm, 10:25pm

Regal Oceanside

401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, 760-439-1327 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

1:40pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

10:45am, 1:45pm, 4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, June 27

10:45am, 1:45pm, 4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:00pm

Regal Rancho del Rey

1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

10:20am, 12:55pm, 3:50pm, 6:55pm, 9:45pm

Thursday, June 27

10:20am, 12:55pm, 3:50pm, 6:55pm, 9:45pm

Friday, June 28

10:15am, 4:15pm

Saturday, June 29

10:15am, 4:15pm

Sunday, June 30

10:15am, 4:15pm

Monday, July 1

10:15am, 1:30pm, 4:15pm, 7:15pm, 10:15pm

Regal Rancho San Diego

2951 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, 619-660-3483 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

1:00pm, 4:05pm, 7:00pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, June 27

1:00pm, 4:05pm, 7:00pm, 10:00pm

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions

Wednesday, June 26

12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:40pm, 9:45pm

Thursday, June 27

12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:40pm, 9:45pm

Comments

Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close