The New Mutants – PG-13 – 98 min (IMAX)
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday August 27, 2020
Regal 16 Cinemas – Lacey, Washington
#30 new movie seen in theaters in 2020
Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) and her father run away from something ominous lurking outside. He hides her by a tree and seconds later is killed. As some gigantic hulking figure approaches, she passes out,
Dani wakes up handcuffed to a hospital bed. Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga) comes to her calls for help and releases her, telling her that she’s having her mutant powers monitored to protect her from hurting herself or others. She is introduced to Rahne (Maise Williams), who shows Dani around the hospital grounds, explaining they are all held there as Dr. Reyes studies their mutant abilities.
The entire movie takes place at the hospital grounds either inside the building or outside within the confines of an Under The Dome invisible shield. The other mutants include Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), who wields a light saber like weapon out of her arm and has glowing eyes. There is a guy that flies around super fast attaching himself to a stone so he doesn’t bounce off the shield another that can go all human torch. We never really get to know anything about the other mutants, as to how they got their powers, what challenges they are having with them, etc. Viewers are expected to just acknowledge they are mutants. We almost needed a TV show or something to develop these characters before a movie about them, because it just feels like important parts are missing.
This movie feels and is very familiar to others in the young superhero genre, only it less entertaining than most. Dani’s inability — and others — to understand the origins of her mutant power forms the bulk of the movie. The run time, despite being a little over 90 minutes still feels too long and plodding. The pacing is jacked up, as it never really generates any tension or suspense other than the opening scene. Not even the ending feels like we’ve built up to something epic and amazing. Instead, it’s like, well we better wrap up this situation.
It would have worked better as a short versus a feature length film. There just isn’t enough happening, either from the interplay between the mutants and their captor/doctor and themselves. There’s some same sex kissing between Dani and another mutant, but not even this relationship builds. This is but one of several wasted opportunities.
The list of questions pile up more than answers are provided by the time the ending comes along.
Caught this in IMAX, which looked very sharp and crisp. Some scenes, like the opening one, were somewhat disorienting with the shaky camera work, but overall the film looked and sounded good.
The biggest problem with The New Mutants is lack of fresh, compelling material. The characters are there, but they are setup with no significant payoffs or entertaining arcs. It’s like the creative team got together with a white board and threw story elements in: hey, let’s have some female-female kissing, but no real love story, let’s have a guy who can turn into fire, a guy that runs fast, a woman with a Star Wars light saber arm, another woman that can turn into a wolf.
Just a mostly aimless film. Put it all together and it’s mediocre to OK at best. I’m going to lean in the direction of mediocre after sleeping on the review for the film. In my just left the theater video review I leaned the other way.
It doesn’t deserve the extra half star. Not recommended.
Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️