Curiously, Dark Phoenix appears to borrow a certain degree of aesthetic inspiration from Brett Ratner’s unfortunate X-Men: The Last Stand, a film that really only paid lip service to the classic Dark Phoenix saga.
Fox now has a second chance to tell Jean Grey’s iconic story, but a new Dark Phoenix clip makes it seem as if the studio might have looked at The Last Stand and said “Eh, it wasn’t that bad. Let’s try doing some of that again.”
Following Jean’s return to Earth and the emergence of her new devastating powers, Charles Xavier and Magneto once again find themselves at ideological odds, this time over what they’re going to do about the young mutant who’s clearly become a threat that must be dealt with. In the scene, Xavier, Storm, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler confront Mags, a surprisingly defected Beast, and newcomers Selene (Kota Eberhard) and Red Lotus (Red Lotus). While the heroes are certain Jean can be saved, Magneto and the villains believe she should die.
Strictly speaking, the moment isn’t exactly like the conversation Xavier and Magneto have in The Last Stand in Jean’s childhood home before, in a telekinetic rage, she atomises her former teacher before joining the revolutionary to lead a rampage. For one, Jean herself isn’t present, and here the confrontation takes place somewhere in New York rather than on the West Coast.
But while Jean’s physical absence is new, her narrative absence from the moment in favour of focusing on Xavier and Magneto’s dynamic is not. That, more than anything else, is what made The Last Stand’s take on the Dark Phoenix story so awful, and it’d be terrible if Dark Phoenix fell into the same trap when it hits theatres on June 6.