The New Mutants

The New Mutants (2020) Film Review
Courtesy of 20th Century Studios
The New Mutants is a horror film in the superhero genre that focuses on five young mutants trapped in a secret medical facility run by Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga). The group consists of Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt), Rahne Sinclair (Maisie Williams), Sam Guthrie (Charlie Heaton), Roberto da Costa (Henry Zaga), and Illyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy), and they all have unique and dangerous powers with traumatizing origin stories. Written and directed by Josh Boone, known for The Fault in Our Stars, it’s pretty interesting that his take on the franchise is through the horror genre. As the last installment in the Fox X-Men series after the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, hopefully, fans are excited to relive the world of mutants again before they’re officially rebooted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A case of bad luck. It’s quite unfortunate The New Mutants has gone through so many delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney/Fox merger, and planned reshoots that have supposedly never happened. Many people have thought it’s going to be an absolute trainwreck after being pushed back several times from its original release date in 2018. As a film, it’s actually ok. It’s not a total mess, but it is a waste of potential, especially that the concept is incredibly fascinating for the comic book movie genre. If you’ve seen the teaser trailer, you can tell Boone wants to try something new by making his feature a straight-up horror flick. However, the bummer is that it’s not scary whatsoever. There’s nothing creepy or terrifying because it’s pretty predictable from start to finish.

Anya Taylor-Joy in The New Mutants

The vibe of a YA novel adaptation. The cast does fine with what they’re given, but sadly no one really stands out. You can tell the actors are trying their best, but it does look like they’re over this franchise in some scenes. All the lead characters follow YA novel clichés, and it can be quite annoying. You have the new girl, jock, mean girl, nice girl, and nice guy, and they're exactly how they would act as those caricatures. During the first 30 to 40 minutes, it’s a little boring. The filmmakers are trying their best to set up the origin stories for these mutants, but you’re not as emotionally connected as they want you to be. However, the third act is actually pretty exciting even if it's too little, too late at that point.

Film still from The New Mutants (2020)

While it is bizarre that it took this long for The New Mutants to be released theatrically, it’s not a total disaster. You have to give props to the filmmakers for wanting to try something new with the comic book movie genre. It’s unfortunate that the series officially ends with this film and Dark Phoenix, but what can you do? It's a waste of potential, but there is some enjoyment out of it.