Review: The New Mutants
Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) survives a mysterious attack on her Reservation and and wakes up in a strange institution to learn that she is a Mutant and is being treated by Dr. Reyes. (Alice Braga) They don't know exactly what her mutant power is, and she's not alone at this facility. She has four other young Mutants with her. Friendly Rahne, (Maisie Williams) awkward Sam, (Charlie Heaton) good looking jock Roberto (Henry Zaga) and mean girl Illyana. (Anya-Taylor Joy) It doesn't take long for Dani to realize that she's not in a hospital, but a prison. Then strange things begin to happen.
You'll notice that I gave really generic descriptions of each of these kids, and that's because the film never really bothers to explore them beyond those things. We get glimpses of their pasts and why they got there, which would make for a far more interesting movie, but they're just that. Glimpses.
When the trailer for this came out 100 years ago, I was interested, which is the most I've been able to say about an X-men film in years. Then it ran into production problems, someone who worked closely on the film leaked a bunch of backstage drama with the director on the internet, and it was set for reshoots that never came. Now after seeing the finished product, I can see why the studio wanted to re-do nearly all of it.
When you have a film that only has six principle actors, you need to flesh them out and the actors need to be strong, these ones aren't. Even the ones who are normally reliable. Anya Taylor-Joy has been mesmerizing in everything I've seen her in, but hear she leans so hard into Illyana's inner Regina George that it removes almost all of the nuance her character deserves. And Magik is a damn cool mutant, they could've done so much more with her. Heaton's Kentucky accent was awful, and Hunt and Zaga were just...not good. I feel bad for typing that. The only emotional thing that hit in this story was Rahne and Dani's love story. That was cute, and it was the only time Hunt wasn't overacting.
The CGI is very hit and miss. You can tell they had budget constraints because of the way the big fight scene at the end was shot. We never get a good shot of Magik fighting because all the CGI budget went to the giant demon bear. (Though that bear's intro was hilarious. It wasn't supposed to be, but it was)
I don't think it's awful. Definitely not as bad as some of the early reviews had been saying, but I just saw so much potential here that was wasted.
Memorable Quote: "I killed 18 men. One by one." - Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy)