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.
Finally after being delayed and delayed again, The New Mutants finally gets released into the wild for us all to see why Marvel distanced themselves from Josh Boone’s entry into the X-Men mutant wonderland. It’s actually quite hard to see why it was removed from the official Marvel MCU, only to be treated like an unwanted stepchild, as it has a very strong cast and it’s different tone to your usual Marvel movies makes for a welcome breath of fresh air.
With a tone akin to Nightmare On Elm St. 3: Dream Warriors, we have creepy dark corridors, weird hallucinations and shadowy figures that aren’t what they seem, it’s actually a really fun movie. Some quarters have labelled this the worst of the X-Men movies which is wholly unfair and also untrue as Last Stand, Dark Phoenix and Wolverine: Origins still hold that mantle between them. New Mutants won’t be widely regarded, but it’s definitely worth watching, as it one that stick very closely to the source material and has some of the best representations of the comic book characters hitherto unseen across the various comic book universes.
The New Mutants cast as previously mentioned are absolutely terrific headed up by the most notable cast member in Game of Thrones Maisie Williams, who spends and awful lot of time in the facilities showers for some reason. Blu Hunt is especially good playing the traumatised newcomer, who hasn’t discovered her power yet. Stranger Things Charlie Heaton, Ana Taylor Joy (Who gets the most fleshed out character) and Henry Zaga complete the line up of the X-Men’s Breakfast Club as they skulk around, flashing glimpses of their powers before the overplayed climax hits and everything goes south quickly.
Josh Boones direction is at times slick and punchy and at other times slow and laborious, much like the teenagers in the movie. When they are sitting about disucussing feelings and powers it slumps and theres a fair bit of that in its short run time. Clocking it at 98 minutes it’s one of the shortest MCU movies. But it’s greatest weakness is that it is a sum of other movie parts. The previously mentioned Nightmare On Elm St., Breakfast Club, a smattering of the Resident Evil films, One That Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest & the recent Power Rangers movie. Which isn’t necessarily bad, but can feel a bit distracting.
However, don’t pass this one by, as it’s actually a decent stand alone MCU curio, that in times to come will most likely be looked back as an opportunity missed. There’s a good film in here trying to break out, but for whatever reason the New Mutants never quite makes it.