Sometimes when you’ve been waiting so long to see something, eventually it takes the shine off. The New Mutants were severely delayed by, reshoots, a certain pandemic, as well as Deadpool and Dark Pheonix scheduling conflicts. The superhero horror movie with spinoff X-Men characters is now released on DVD and, Blu-ray (HD too) by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on November 17, 2020. Writer-director Josh Boon intends this new X-Men installment to be a trilogy with introductions of mutant aliens and demons on the agenda.
This time, in the final installment for the X-men series franchise, five youngsters are squirreled away in an institution. A concerted effort is being made to ‘cure’ them. I’m guessing because it works so well each and every other time scientists gather up superheroes and try to tame them, one more time won’t hurt, right? I mean they’re younger, so it’s bound to work better.
Horror, Action, and Sci-Fi Movies
As far as the horror element bandied about making it a drawcard for the film, the PG-13 rating really did it a disservice. There are a lot of opinions floating around when it comes to whether or not an MPAA rating really allows something to be painted with a horror label. My two cents is, sure it can. But the horror elements included in The New Mutants were barely played out. Some of the nightmares the kids have are appropriately horror for the assigned age rating.
I had personally hoped for a higher-stakes horror movie, having been a fan of The X-Men series for some time. As an older generational audience member, what I got instead was a few nostalgic seconds when the Buffy TV series appeared on the television in the rec room and a line from Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams. Thanks.
“There’s two people up here. Are you calling me a Nobody?”Quote from The New Mutants Maisie Williams who plays Rahne.
The New Characters In The New Mutants
So what can we expect power-wise of these teen-angst new mutant x-men? Let’s go through our players quickly so you know what to look forward to.
- Danielle Moonstar aka Mirage turns nightmares into reality;
- Rahne Sinclair, Wolfsbane, can turn into a werewolf but has some residual wolf traits when in human form;
- Sam Guthrie, who as Cannonball, has a forcefield and can fly really really fast;
- Roberto da Costa aka Sunspot absorbs solar power which he can then use in various ways. Sunspot was in a previous X-Men movie: Days of Future Past (2014).; and
- Illyana Rasputin aka Magik is the younger sister of Colossus, Magik can give herself armor whenever she wants and also gets a shiny blue sword that enables her to increase her powers and psychic abilities.
The New Mutants is Watchable But Beige
The New Mutants is not a memorable X-Men movie. It is, however, watchable in a mundane and beige way. There is nothing new here. What’s more, there is nothing shiny and spectacular about the story. The character arcs are weak and allow for little investment. Fortunately, there are some welcomed additions inside the narrative that I liked. There is a lovely LGBT relationship included (between Rahne and Dani) which leads to some protective wolf behavior when Dani gets captured. The rest of the characters fade away and are basically used as plot props.
I did come across a really cool cameo featured within this anti-superhero movie, and that came in the form of one of Dani’s nightmare creatures, The Smiling Man. Marylin Manson played him, and his voice was even used to emit the growly type sound it made. I loved that Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series was playing in the rec room each time it was shown. Illyana, it seemed like the show and I guess this detail was added to give some much-needed insight into her character which was widely underutilized in the first half.
The CGI & Budget
The special effects were okay if not repetitive but were used sparingly in the $67 million dollar budget. Comparatively, The New Mutants had the least amount of money poured into it over the course of the franchise.
Overall, go in with low expectations and to scratch that X-Men itch you might have. Don’t expect an adrenline rush of excitement though.
I give The New Mutants
2.5 one liners about baby rattlesnakes out of 5
- Starring: Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, and Anya Taylor-Joy.
- Director: Josh Boone Writers: Josh Boone (2021’s The Stand), Knate Lee (Kidnap 2017.)
- Produced and distributed by 20th Century Studios.
- More significantly good superhero movies: Heroes & Villains / Shazam / Unbreakable
“There’s a Native American proverb that says: Inside every person there are two bears, forever locked in combat for your soul. One bear is all things good: compassion, love, trust. The other is all things evil: fear, shame and self-destruction.”Quote from The New Mutants – Moonstar