Hey Bruce, your new job gave you a bonus day off this month. What are you gonna do?
Why Bruce, I think I’ll go see The New Mutants.
Are you sure?
Why not? The local theater gave me a free ticket for my birthday.
Sounds like the price is right.
And now for our feature presentation.
It’s no secret in the geek community that The New Mutants has had a troubled time getting to the big screen. All it took for the movie to hit local multiplex was a worldwide pandemic.
So, today I braved a severe weather warning to give it a look. I was car crash curious.
I can now confirm that The New Mutants is, in fact, a movie that exists.
It is neither a great movie, nor the box office disaster we were led to believe it would be. It’s just an okay movie.
The last entry in the 20th Century
Fox Studios X-Men franchise, The New Mutants uses the trappings of a horror film to introduce us to the next generation of X-characters.
The premise is a good one as we are thrown, along with Dani Moonstar, into a mutant rehab hospital where all is not what it seems.
For those not familiar with the New Mutants, they were originally a team of younger mutants recruited by Professor X as his next generation of X-Men.
The team had it’s own book for most of the 80s before morphing into X-Force under the guidance of Rob Liefeld.
The characters in the movie are all pulled from the book’s original run.
The movie also utilizes the peak New Mutant nemesis, the Demon Bear.
That’s where the similarities end.
Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The characters find themselves trapped in a hospital, ostensibly to learn to control their newfound powers, but something much more sinister is at play here.
The Essex Corporation.
X-Fans will see the geek joke I slipped in two paragraphs ago.
With things not being what they seem, our one-dimensional characters must put aside their teen angsty differences and Buffy DVDs to make a heroic stand against their greatest enemy, their own fears.
Yeah, it’s a lot and, no, the execution isn’t there.
Robert DaCosta is an asshole. How do we know? He pops the collar on all of his polo shirts. Illyana Rasputin is the bad girl who is repressing childhood sexual abuse. Rahne Sinclair is an Irish werewolf with Catholic guilt. Sam Guthrie is upset about working in a coal mine, I think. And, finally, Dani Moonstar is upset because she went all Amanda Waller and killed Adam Beach.
The New Mutants worst sin is that it plays like a Sy-Fy original movie. The special effects are bargain basement. The character development is middling and you never actually get the reveal of the big bad. I feel like that was going to be post-credits scene before this thing derailed.
All that being said, I didn’t hate The New Mutants. It was a decent way to blow a free movie ticket on a rainy afternoon, but is only for the most devout X-Fans.