To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Dark Phoenix Ticket

Dark Phoenix Cyclops holds Jean in the Blackbird

Who’s ready for one supposedly final flight with the X-Men? In Dark Phoenix, Professor Charles Xavier and his gifted school of youngsters are taking on one of their own, and their confrontation with the newly overpowered Jean Grey could lead to a finale not everyone will walk away from. With audiences primed for the close of another era of X-Men filmmaking, it’s time to ask that famous question: to 3D, or not to 3D?

If you’re curious as to how we felt about Dark Phoenix as a movie, head over to our official review and read on! But if you’re curious about whether you should spend the extra money on 3D thrills, or if you’d be better off putting those funds towards building your own Cerebro, then you’re in the right place. Glasses and/or eye shielding visors on, as it’s time to see how Dark Phoenix looks in 3D!

3D Fit Score: 5/5

How do you not release a superhero movie in 3D these days? This genre of film tends to be the most expressive when it comes to the potential for 3D thrills, and Dark Phoenix is certainly one of those movies. With tons of explosions and mutant powers in use, the X-Men movies tend to be quite good fits for a 3D presentation. But, as is the case with any other film in this particular mode of presentation, the devil is all in the details.

Planning & Effort Score: 3/5

The overall 3D presentation in Dark Phoenix is a pretty mixed bag. While the brightness and audience health factors don’t fail, the big ticket segments before and beyond the window take a beating with the overall product. Which is a total shame, because the remaining factors hold up pretty well while watching the 3D in Dark Phoenix.

Before the Window: 2/5

There is a lot of potential for objects to be flung at the audience in Dark Phoenix, and a good number of moments come in the first act of the film. Between Jean’s childhood incident and the shuttle rescue sequence alone, this film started off strong in terms of breaking the window between the audience and the movie. Yet that really doesn’t happen all too much in Dark Phoenix, as once you get past that set piece, the film doesn’t do all that much to break that window again. A couple of sequences have weapons drawn and pointed at the audience, which is almost always a good opportunity to break the window, but it stops just short of doing so.

Beyond the Window: 3/5

There is a decent amount of depth beyond the window of Dark Phoenix’s 3D presentation. In some scenes with a crowd, there’s even a pretty impressive degree of spatial reasoning, as you can pick out individuals in moments like when Professor Xavier gives a speech at a White House event. But those depths are drawn to a point, which leads to the eye hitting a sort of wall when trying to look into the background of a scene. Some scenes have deeper-looking backgrounds than others, so again, this feature is part of the mixed back that is Dark Phoenix in 3D.

Brightness Score: 4/5

Friends, you get to see space in Dark Phoenix, and it actually looks pretty sweet. As dark as Dark Phoenix gets, the film is absolutely watchable in 3D, as some of the visual elements even have a bit of a shine to them when watched through the glasses required for a 3D presentation. Your mileage definitely will vary though, as traditionally, it’s up to how well your theater of choice calibrates their rig for the brightness to truly shine. But in the case of this viewing of Dark Phoenix, the only darkness was the dimming caused by the glasses themselves.

Glasses Off Score: 3/5

During a 3D movie, it’s always tempting to remove those glasses to see what’s on the screen. We did it as kids, and still do it as adults, to see how blurry the screen gets. But in that exercise, the level of blur you observe is an important correlation, and it’s to the degree of 3D imagery that’s being displayed. The blurrier the picture is, the more the image you’re looking at has been manipulated for 3D presentation; and Dark Phoenix has a solid degree of blur involved in its conversion. Though there is a little more 2D than would be expected, especially in close-ups and dialogue heavy scenes, so that tempers this factor’s effectiveness quite a bit.

Audience Health Score: 4/5

While there’s only a couple of shots that inflict this menace on the 3D going public, the overall product that is Dark Phoenix isn’t going to strain your eyes into oblivion. With crisp visuals that only get a little too dim in small instances, and a limited number of scenes where that fast panning disrupts the 3D illusion, Dark Phoenix’s 3D won’t hurt you as you watch it for a prolonged period of time.

x-men: Dark Phoenix

(Image credit: twentieth Century Fox)

Dark Phoenix is an okay 3D presentation, with enough solid workmanship put into it for anyone who enjoys 3D movies religiously to be able to enjoy. But if you’re not a hardcore 3D nut, and have the chance to see the film in 2D, it might be a better bet for you to take that road. Still, if you find yourself in a 3D showing, it won’t be a chore to watch, but at the same time it could have done so much more to impress.

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Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.