Film Review – The New Mutants (2020)

Title – The New Mutants (2020)

Director – Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars)

Cast – Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Alice Braga

Plot – A group of young and potentially dangerous mutants including the recently orphaned Dani Moonstar (Hunt) are holed up in a top secret medical facility/prison that is run by Dr. Reyes (Braga) on behalf of Professor X, the X-Men’s famed leader. As they learn to grapple with their powers and each other, the group find themselves in a life and death battle with a nefarious power.

“This isn’t a hospital, Pocahontas. It’s a cage”

Review by Eddie on 15/12/2020

The history behind The New Mutants making it to the big screen is far more interesting than the lifeless product we are left with at an end result of five delayed release dates that culminated in this unloved X-Men spinoff finally making it to the big screen in the midst of Covid-19 this year.

Initially penciled in for a release date in late 2018, this Josh Boone directed outing which was supposedly aiming for a more horror orientated vibe than its more action orientated mutant counterparts and was subject to multiple reshoots and re-edits before it saw the light of day, is one of the biggest misfires yet in the up and down history of X-Men films and their spin-offs and while you can glimpse the film that just might’ve been with the right caressing and refinement, this version of Marvel’s teenage anti-heroes isn’t the version you’ll want to endure.

Wasting a talented cast that includes recognizable faces such as The Queen’s Gambit/The Witch star Anya Taylor-Joy, Game of Thrones Maisie Williams and Stranger Things actor Charlie Heaton, Boone is unable to get much out of his performers who struggle to make his and Knate Lee’s dull script come to life, while the stagnate setting of the facility these mutant teenagers find themselves in under the supervision of Alice Braga’s Dr. Reyes (honestly why does she run such a facility by herself?) makes for a boorish set up as we and the films central characters get bored with what is laid out before them.

There are glimmers of the horror aspects that may’ve at times been more prevalent in a film that more than likely was muddled with by studio executives before it finally saw itself unleashed on the public and these tiny elements of the film create some of the best moments in a mostly dreary and unenthusiastic affair, creepy Slender Man like figures and roaming priests such aspects but the rest of the films dramatic moments and character driven pieces all fall flat around a narrative that never lets its ensemble shine nor one that lets its audience find a reason to care about what is going on around them.

Final Say – 

A blatantly pointless addition to the X-Men cinematic universe that may’ve become something worthwhile had it been allowed to follow up its horror angles, this sorry excuse for a film is a mostly dire effort despite some brief glimpses of what could have been.

1 lonely facility employee out of 5 

14 responses to “Film Review – The New Mutants (2020)

  1. I did actually like this one myself (shameless plug for a post I put together on it here [https://sethboyumblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/25/the-new-mutants-a-decent-farewell-to-the-x-men-film-series/]), but fair enough if it didn’t work for you. I did really connect with the characters, which I think helped pull me past some of the weaknesses in the script and editing. I’d also found “Dark Phoenix” to be really disappointing, so my exceptions may have been set lower then they otherwise might have. I was a fan of the “New Mutants” comics, so I wasn’t going in with an objective starting point, either.

    Mileage may vary.

    • I must admit I think I erased the memory of Phoenix from my mind, wow that was bad!

      Glad you dug this one though mate, I found it extremely hard to enjoy.
      E

      • “I must admit I think I erased the memory of Phoenix from my mind, wow that was bad!”

        It had some moments, but I think I find “Last Stand” easier to sit through. When we get the MCU X-Men reboot, I hope the leave the Phoenix story alone. (I hope that they give all the overexposed characters from the Fox series a breather, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.)

        “Glad you dug this one though mate, I found it extremely hard to enjoy.”

        Takes all types, I guess.

      • One of the worst things about Phoenix was it had such an amazing cast and potential but just wasted it all in an instantly forgettable affair. Be interesting to see where the series goes from here.
        E

      • “One of the worst things about Phoenix was it had such an amazing cast and potential but just wasted it all in an instantly forgettable affair.”

        Yeah, on paper what they wanted was a decent premise for a movie based on it. That said, I think Michael Fassbender seemed like the only person who was still engaged. Everyone else either seemed tired or in over their head.

        “Be interesting to see where the series goes from here.”

        As badly as I want James Mangold to make his “X-23” solo movie, I think that ship has sailed. Personally, I don’t want Marvel Studios to just rehash Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, and the classic X-Men the Fox series overused.The new leads should be characters who never got the spotlight. I’d really like to see the “New X-Men,” like Surge, Rockslide, Prodigy, and Wind Dancer take center stage (maybe focus on them as the new students, with the old guard as the teachers who play a mentoring role before the adventure starts?).

  2. I kinda liked it even though my expectations were like -10 going in. You can definitely see that break point at the third act though where someone on set was like MAKE IT MORE LIKE A MARVEL MOVIE NOW though and that was rather awkward.

    • Totally, I get a sense somewhere there existed a really horror tinged version of this film and I think it could’ve worked a heck of a lot better!
      E

  3. The movie has plenty of good ideas, but everything gets shortchanged….especially since the film alludes to more to come which of course won’t. Kind of ends the franchise on a whimper.

    • Actually thought that it wrapped itself up fairly well (unlike, say “Alita: Battle Angel” or the “Tomb Raider” reboot). What did you think was left too open-ended?

      • Seth….I get what you are saying about those movies and I do agree that it isn’t as bad (concluding-wise). However, the movie introduces these characters,, but we (as the viewers) will never see these interpretation again…

    • Totally mate! I felt like a lot of ideas were half explored, its hard to know whether this is due to studio interference and re-shoots or just a badly made film from the outset.
      E

    • “Seth….I get what you are saying about those movies and I do agree that it isn’t as bad (concluding-wise). However, the movie introduces these characters,, but we (as the viewers) will never see these interpretation again…”

      That’s fair. I would’ve very much liked to have seen the rest of the trilogy get made, way more then seeing the MCU redo everything we’ve seen before. (Say what you will about the DCEU’s rocky start, but I am starting to see the appeal to being able to make one-off projects and side stuff instead of having to tie everything together to one vision.)

  4. Pingback: Film Review – The New Mutants (2020) – Kisafilms.com·

  5. Pingback: The Best & Worst of 2020 | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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