Nerd Processor

I Saw ‘Dark Phoenix’ So You Don’t Have to

Here’s what you need to know, because you clearly aren’t going to see it yourself

Rob Bricken
Published in
8 min readJun 14, 2019


Evan Peters and Sophie Turner in “Dark Phoenix.” © Fox Movies

DDid you see the newest installment in the X-Men movie franchise last weekend? Based on the box office, probably not! Congratulations, because it turns out that was a smart decision, because I sat through it and… oof.

Let my pain be of some use, as I answer every question you might possibly have about Dark Phoenix in the most mean-spirited way possible.

(Spoilers ahead, obviously.)

How is the movie?

My full review: “Oof.”

What does that mean, exactly?

You know when you go to a wedding reception and the groom’s best man gives a speech, and he’s clearly already nervous, but then it turns out his notes still have a few typos in them, so he misspeaks a lot and he pokes a little fun at the bride, but it isn’t funny, so it feels a tiny bit mean? And then he starts telling a story about the groom and realizes halfway through it’s too inappropriate to say in front of his family, so he has to bail on it, and by that point he’s sweating, and the groom has to approach and give him an awkward hug to sort of close the curtains on it?


That’s Dark Phoenix. It basically means well, but there’s also such a feeling of relief when it’s over.

So what’s the movie about?

Do you remember 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand?


Dark Phoenix is X-Men: The Last Stand. That means it’s partially a second attempt to adapt one of the X-Men comics’ most beloved storylines, the Dark Phoenix saga, in which the telepathic superhero Jean Grey turns both evil and all-powerful after she becomes possessed by a cosmic entity of destruction. In 2006, The Last Stand adapted the storyline — sort of — and did it very, very badly.

So, isn’t Dark Phoenix trying to tell the story again a good thing?



Rob Bricken

The former editor of, Rob Bricken has been a professional nerd since 2001. He also often cries at children's cartoons.