Well it turns out 2020 does have some miracles up it’s sleeve because The New Mutants finally came out at cinemas and I got to watch it, so hoorah! This is the first Marvel superhero flick of this year and from what I can gather this will be the final film to be set in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men universe because the fox was bought out by the mouse.
I’ve been interested in this movie for a while now as it’s been constantly pushed back to not ruin the performance of other Fox projects and again only recently due to the pandemic. In between that there was also the old Fox employees and Disney execs rewriting and slicing up the movie to tone down the horror aspects and a bunch of stuff that normally means we’re seeing a Frankenstein’s monster in the works.
So I was expecting to joyfully rip this movie a new one, but lo and behold, The New Mutants was surprisingly not too bad. It must be the Sonic the Hedgehog curse because it and The New Mutants were both hyped for disaster, but surprisingly well made, enough that I could easily see enjoyment for a casual viewer. Although someone with a more critical eye might be able to call the movie out when they cut corners.
So I confess I genuinely enjoyed The New Mutants more than I thought I would. For one, it’s quite disconnected from the convoluted and messy X-Men universe so you could easily hop into this with little knowledge of the previous films. Its also going for the Glass approach where the story is very small scale, only focusing on a set number of characters, and it all takes place in one location. The story unfolds in a special hospital where developing mutants learn to grasp their abilities, making sure they control them before going out to explore the big wide world.
I think what I enjoyed most about this movie is the characters. They’re slightly above typical horror movie character standards. They were just interesting enough to be fun to watch and I liked learning about their pasts. As for acting, Anya Taylor-Joy easily carried the whole movie for me as she looked as if she was getting the most out of this troubled film. The lead girl is about on par with the main guy from Tenet as they’re both undermined by the other characters in the movie. The other four yet to be mentioned characters range from pretty good to whatever.
It always felt like a strange choice to give the X-Men a horror edge as I honestly could never see that working for this type of series. Turns out I was right because I found all the horror scenes extremely dull and never even flinched. It just didn’t fit with the other half of the movie which was like a coming of age teenage angst drama, with the added bonus of super powers. Another thing that didn’t work was the action as it looked terrible alongside the bad CGI and it was filmed so choppily that I felt a bit sick afterwards. Lastly, with no spoilers, there were things at the end that left me asking a lot of questions that I’m sure I’ll never find out about because Disney or Fox left those answers on the cutting room floor.
Overall The New Mutants was a pretty light train wreck as the few survivors of this crash equated to a pretty good flick. If you’re desperately missing superhero movies or need a reason to go to the cinema then it’s worth at least one watch, but like Tenet I’m not sure if this movie is the strongest reason for returning to the cinema.
Next week I’ve got the new Bill & Ted to see, which from the trailer looks quite promising, but before that Mulan is coming to Disney+ with a $35 admission fee! I have been the Blog Complainer and I need to apply for a loan.