Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
It’s gotten to the point where I go into Marvel superhero movies that are NOT created by Marvel Studios with the same level of excitement I treat a visit to the dentist. I hope the news is good, but no matter how much I prep, you just know he’s gonna say you aren’t flossing enough.
The New Mutants is one of those Marvel movies that has been stuck in development hell for what seems like ages. Then when it was finally done, it kept getting rescheduled like someone trying to avoid going on a blind date. Some of those delays were so the studio could beef up the scenes and maybe fix some stuff that didn’t work. But sadly none of the above was enough to make the first horror-themed superhero movie a memorable one.
For the non-comic book fans out there, The New Mutants were made up of a group of youngsters brought together by Professor X himself and were basically created to be a more diverse ethnic representation of the era, the 1980s. Their abilities were also a blend of magical and mutation, with characters like (deep breath) Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane, a Scottish girl who could turn into a wolf/werewolf, Dani Moonstar aka Mirage, a Native American with the ability to manifest your fears as real world threats, Roberto da Costa aka Sunspot, a Brazilian who could store solar energy and use it as a weapon while also giving himself super strength, Sam Guthrie aka Cannonball, Kentucky, USA born, with the ability to generate energy and propel himself through the air, and last but not least, Ilyana Rasputina aka Magik, a Russian girl (and the little sister of Colossus) who has more powers than I can list here but is basically a mutant with the ability to teleport but who also has magical gifts and techniques she learned while being trapped in a Hell/Limbo dimension. Like I said, WAY TOO MUCH to cover here.
Now this movie is essentially a horror story, with these kids all trapped at a facility where they are told they have to learn to control their powers by Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alicia Braga) and then they will be allowed to leave for a certain school for gifted youngsters. When Dani joins the fold, she is unaware of her abilities which of course means things get creepy fast and it’s up to them to join together to not only break out of their prison but to ensure they all survive as well.
I’ll say this for The New Mutants movie, it’s not as bad as people are making it out to be. I’ve seen some really terrible reviews on it, and while I agree it’s a slog fest of a film that takes way too long to get going and feels like I’m watching some cheap horror flick that drops on a weekend only to disappear into obscurity, there are moments to enjoy as well. For instance, I think the casting has some sparks of life with Masie Williams as Wolfsbane and Anna Taylor Joy as Magik being my two favourites. The latter really nailed the character for me, but sadly the script doesn’t do her any favors as it forces a “personality change” into this one story arc that really didn’t belong. Think Dark Phoenix.
Magik’s story is way too complicated to try and fit it all into one movie so I’m forced to believe she can go from bitch to saviour in the time it takes to bake a cake. The others sadly don’t get that much to do so you are forced to rely on a lot of narration to get their backstories and a sense of who they are. Another small positive is they (the writers) DO get the backstories right, so fans of the comics at least have that.
The powers on display looked good and the horror elements, while adolescent, were still appreciated as they fit well with this team of mutants who tend to battle a lot of mystical entities in their comic adventures.
Sadly everything else feels muted, wasted and forgettable, so once again, I don’t see these Mutants showing up anytime soon in another story, especially when you factor in the Disney way of doing things. This group of heroes would just be a bit too dark (and probably too gay) for the House that Mouse built.
What a waste.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10
For more on this film and my video review of New Mutants you can click here. For the Top 15 Most Anticipated Comic Book Movies you can click here. And for more super powered articles you can follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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