The New Mutants has finally been released in theaters. After being planned for an April 2018 release, the film has survived six delays, a history-making merger, and since the world is burning to the ground, that cause even more delays. For how long it’s lasted, The New Mutants is simply not worth it.
My main frustration is that this film sounded like it could have been great. It’s an X-Men movie that doesn’t deal with any of the X-Men we’ve met and roots it in the horror genre. However, director Josh Boone and Knate Lee’s screenplay doesn’t even attempt to explore these themes or deal with them in any real way. Whether that’s the result of the reshoots or something else, none of these characters feel like actual people.
These mutants are Rahne Sinclair (Maisie Williams), a Scottish mutant who can turn into a wolf, Illyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy), a Russian mutant who is magic, Samuel “Sam” Guthrie (Charlie Heaton), a mutant from Kentucky who can fly, Dr. Reyes (Alica Braga) who can generate force fields, Danielle “Dani” Moonstar (Blu Hunt) a Cherokee mutant who doesn’t know her powers, and Roberto “Bobby” da Costa (Henry Zaga) a mutant from Brazil. These mutants sport an accent that pulls you out of the film and comes off as comedic in less than 10 minutes. What is more troubling is the tone-deaf handling of Illanaya’s racist remarks towards Danielle and the relationship between Danielle and Rahne. We never find out the genesis for those things, yet the film has enough runtime to have a segment that feels ripped right out of an 80s teen comedy.
This was 20th Century’s Studios’ last X-Men film before the Disney merger. Outside of The Wolverine and Logan, the studio has traditionally played it safe, so this was my one hope of a genuinely different superhero movie. Well, I guess I’ll have to wait to see what Kevin Feige cooks up.
The New Mutants is now in theaters wherever they are open.