Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.
Stuck in development hell for a couple of years now, ‘The New Mutants’ finally comes into cinemas at possibly the worst point in recent history to be releasing a new movie, which probably sums up the luck this film has had from the outset. It’s a spin off from the ‘X-Men’ film series, focusing on a group of younger, newly discovered mutants, who are brought to a hospital on an estate for observation and to receive help in developing their new found abilities. These mutants are played by Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Henry Zaga, with Blu Hunt’s Dani providing the focus for much of the film’s narrative.
Josh Boone is the director and this was originally envisaged as the start of a new franchise within the X-Men universe, however it’s highly unlikely that will come to fruition now – even pre-Covid this seemed a long shot. That creates a common issue with movies intended to begin a franchise, in that there’s too much set up and not enough pay off, and ‘The New Mutants’ undoubtedly suffers in this regard. The cast are likeable (even if their accents are all over the place!) but the story here isn’t really interesting enough in its own right to get the audience to invest in the characters. It’s a very so-so film – it isn’t the disaster many feared but nor is it really anything worth recommending either. One thing I did find interesting is that it strays more into horror territory than I was expecting, albeit I didn’t find it frightening and it would have benefited from a greater psychological focus, as opposed to showing us the ‘monsters’ on most occasions.
It’s not going to start a franchise by itself so this is likely the last we’ll have seen of these character iterations, and on the evidence of ‘The New Mutants’ that’s not something I’d imagine too many fans will be upset about.
Directed By: Josh Boone
Starring: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga and Adam Beach