NEW MUTANTS | Film Review

RELEASED: August 28th 2020
DISTRIBUTED BY: 20th Century Studios
WRITTEN BY: Josh Boone & Knate Lee
PRODUCED BY: Karen Rosenfelt, Lauren Shuler Donner & Simon Kinberg
MUSIC BY: Mark Snow
STARRING: Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Alice Braga & Adam Beach

REVIEW: I saw a criticism of a criticism about New Mutants before the film’s release.

A reviewer had claimed that the film mixes too many genres together, to which a reader/fan argued that a film should be able to mix genres as it pleases. You should judge the film for what presents, not what your preconceived notion of said film should be.

And while I agree with the fan, the reviewer was right.

Among other things, this film tries to be a bit horror, a bit YA, a bit superhero, and in the end does none of them any real justice, and thus, leaves you with a bit of a ‘meh’ movie.

New Mutants takes us to a facility built to treat dangerous teenage mutants (but not of the Ninja Turtle variety). They believe, if they are to complete their treatment, they may get to move on to the X-Mansion, and become X-Men. But when a new patient enters the facility, and all their greatest fears come to life, this group of new mutants begin to face the reality that they may never leave the facility alive.

I don’t want to shit on this film. I wouldn’t say it’s truly bad. Especially not when it’s part of a franchise that’s given us Dark Phoenix, Origins – Wolverine and The Last Stand. But it’s not good either. Like, I left the cinema just over an hour ago and I’m struggling to remember things I liked about it.

While the actors generally do a good job (with the exception of their various accents which waver incredibly in quality), the characters they portray are somewhat one-note stereotypes. The jock, the bitch (their words, not mine), the innocent catholic girl. They have some layers, but not very many.

The story they find themselves in is similarly one-note in that it’s fairly obvious what’s going on from the get go, even if the twist reveal isn’t meant to come up until later in the run-time. And the premise itself – horrors coming to life, isn’t used to it’s fullest extent, meaning you’re often just waiting for the horror elements to come up, just for them not to be all that horrific. Half of the horror sequences in the trailer don’t make it into the movie, and the ones that do aren’t all that scary or (with perhaps one exception) even creepy.

This scene, for instance, doesn’t happen.

Before it can move forward in any particularly genre, it’ll switch to the next. Then switch again. And again. Leaving you with something of a hodgepodge film with very little in the way of a unique identity.

This also isn’t helped by the often derivative and somewhat flat dialogue, which generally only seeks to reinforce the stereotypical character traits rather than give the actors a little more to do.

None of this really happens to an offensive level, hence why I don’t actually want to condemn the film as ‘bad’, but it definitely outlines why it isn’t ‘good’.

It’s middle of the road at best. I watched it once, it ‘entertained’ (and I used that word hesitantly) me more than the snoozefest that was Dark Phoenix (a film so boring I never even got round to reviewing it – one day, maybe).

This one, conversely, is in the movie. And it’s actually pretty decent – a highlight

I did like the special effects and some aspects of the character designs. So that’s something. Magik’s portals and Limbo dimension, as well as her soul sword, looked pretty cool. As does Cannonball’s blasting effect. Wolfsbane’s general not-quite-a-werewolf vibe was interesting, and when Sunspot goes full Sunspot, it’s comic accurate in the best way. Essentially, the powers look good. As do the horror elements, regardless of whether or not they’re used properly.

But bar that and the actors themselves, this is, as I said, a bit of a meh film and I doubt I will ever watch it again.

I know ‘Disney Monopoly Bad’ and all that, but I’m glad that, due to the buyout, Marvel Studios will be able to make some films with some consistency, passion and a bit more reverence for the source material than just taking character names and assigning them randomly (although that’s more a problem with the older X-Men films than this one).

All-in-all, I give New Mutants:

I do feel bad for the actors though. All this time waiting for a bit of a flop, through no fault of their own, really sucks.

Anyway, thanks for reading! What did you think of New Mutants? What do you want to see from the MCU X-Men films in future? Let me know in the comments below!

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