Review: New Mutants (2020)

A different but somewhat underwhelming end to the 20th Century Fox X-Men franchise.

PLOT AND STORY

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. This sounds like an intriguing take on the mutant brand 20th Century Fox controlled for so long. Mixed in with the dark and horror esq publicity surrounding the movie I hoped New Mutants was going to offer us something a little different. Different is what we got, just not good different unfortunately. 

The screenplay lacked any real depth to the character’s back story. You expect a few cliches with a movie like this but setting the story on the fact that there are only five mutants inside a special facility for young mutants and they all come from a past where they unintentionally did something bad and have regretted it ever since was completely boring. I was expecting the bad kid turned good, the good kid turned bad, the abused kid seeking revenge but I wasn’t sold on any of the stories and honestly didn’t care about where any of the characters came from.

A movie with lots of potential to craft a new genre in the world of super heroes failed to grasp this opportunity with one hand let alone two. I believe the story by Josh Boone and Knate Lee let this movie down by being too predictable, unengaging and ultimately lacked any message or purpose. It was also very evident this movie was written by two white men by the way it tried to force diversity into the characters without any genuine meaning to it. Why write five characters to be from five different places with very distinctive accents and then force actors not from these places to attempt said accents poorly? None of the characters origins had any part to play in the movie and it just seemed like the decision was made to give someone a Russian accent or an Irish accent for the sheer hell of it.

DIRECTION AND PRODUCTION

I found a lot more positives to talk about in this section because this is where the potential from the trailer was evident. Although this will never be classed as a horror movie it did attempt to play towards that vibe and there were a few moments which catches you by surprise and makes you jump. The score by Mark Snow was a shining beacon in an otherwise dismal movie and a lot of the tension and suspense scenes have Snow to thank for engaging the audience at all.

It’s not until towards the end we start to see the group using their powers but when we do I was impressed with the effects on display. 

Josh Boone was on people’s radar as an up and coming director following his smash The Fault in Our Stars and I don’t think this will ultimately hurt his career but it probably won’t push it forward either. I don’t expect to see his name on the next Marvel movie but I would happily pay to go and see his next Rom-Com.

CAST

On paper the cast built here is fantastic with a who’s who from the most up and coming young actors in Hollywood. As previously mentioned this great cast with huge potential were let down by a bad story and questionable decisions regarding characters origins and motives. I think the whole cast did an admirable job with the task ahead of them. I enjoyed seeing this young cast work together but I was constantly annoyed by the bad accents almost every character was made to put on for no obvious reason.

Maisie Williams is on top of the cast list following her breakthrough role in Game of Thrones as Arya Stark. Anya Taylor-Joy who is currently breaking records on Netflix with Queens Gambit. Charlie Heaton who rose to fame through playing Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things. Henry Zaga who was in Teen Wolf and 13 Reasons Why and Blu Hunt from Another Life and The Originals round out an impressively talented young cast.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

I really want to end this review on a more positive note as I feel I have been incredibly critical so I will say that New Mutants has some entertaining moments blended with elements of fear and horror performed by a very talented cast. As we draw an end to the 20th Century Fox X-Men movies we can all look forward to what Kevin Feige has up his sleeves as the Mutants finally join the Marvel Cinematic Universe at Disney.

I watched this via Sky Store and received no incentive to review this movie.

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