Just in time for Gay Pride Month comes the latest entry in the gayest of superhero franchises -- Dark Phoenix is yet another X-Men movie about the queer power of embracing your differences, but together, united freaks fighting as one fucked-up family. The film, for all of its action and spectacle (and there is plenty), is more laser focused in than you expect from these behemoths, though -- in some ways its more akin to the standalone butch-bitch Wolverine movies, just focusing on Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) this time around. We start with her past and work up through her present, trauma stacking upon trauma until they reach the stars, give 'em a slap.
Out there in outer space is where Jean Grey meets her dark fate, a burst of possibly sentient star-flame that cracks her open and worms its way into all her faults as she does what she does, save everybody's asses yet again. (I can't help but feel like I saw this all somewhere before...?) Buried memories spring forth like firework displays, and before you know it her sublimated rage is pouring from her fingers like sparklers and the girl, the girl can't help it.
She's got a lot of similarly scarred folks around her who want to help, with their do-gooder intentions, but unfortunately as has happened with so many of us the wrong sexy person is there at just the wrong sexy moment, filling them holes and influencing us in all the wrong ways -- who hasn't gone off the deep end for a few weeks cuz a hot piece at the bar with a crude tattoo situated in an unspeakable place gave us the fuck eye?
In Jean's case the come-hitherer is an alien albino woman (Jessica Chastain) who's chased the tail of that extraterrestrial gas through the solar system and wants a piece of its va-va-voom for her own, and for Jean it's if not lust exactly it's a fundamental commiseration -- a loneliness and anger that compliments, even though in her heart of hearts Jean knows better; even if that twink with the sexy glasses can't stop giving her the puppy dog lips. Jean doesn't want to be a good girl for a minute, and unfortunately for the world and that good boy at home this new lean of hers has some most dire consequences.
And so the ladies hit the road together, making bedrooms burst into celestial visions and Jean flaming into cosmic Georgia O'Keeffe paintings every chance she gets. Petals on a wet black bough, indeed. It's some queer shit, my friends -- as much verbal play as the simple love story between two beasts and a blue shape-shifter gets this movie is a bit of a lesbian hot-house; unfolding ribbons of raw red rooms upon rooms. The secret caverns we whisper our deepest and darkest thoughts into echoing them back unto us as explosions. Excuse me. X-splosions.