The New Mutants (M18)
Starring Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton
Directed by Josh Boone
And I thought Dark Phoenix was dull.
With The New Mutants, the 20th Century Fox-chapter (or 20th Century Studios as it’s called now) of the X-Men franchise is officially over. Over as in dead and buried.
The spin-off from director and co-writer Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) sees a rag-tag quintet of rookie mutants (Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga) sequestered in a facility where Alice Braga’s enigmatic scientist runs endless tests on their powers (is she prepping them for Professor X’s School for the Gifted? Or grooming them for a higher purpose?)
As the kids bicker, banter and bond, a sinister entity lurking in the compound threatens to devour them all. As appealing as the actors are, they can’t make up for the frustrating lack of excitement.
The horror approach to the superhero narrative is refreshing, but the scares barely hit the mark. The New Mutants brings nothing new to the table; it might have worked better as a TV pilot. Then again, in the age of cinematic TV shows (Westworld, The Mandalorian, Altered Carbon), it’s too inert and nondescript to stand out from the crowd.
Instead of delaying its release (it was supposed to come out two years ago), the studio should've just banished The New Mutants to streaming where it belongs. (**)
Photo: 20th Century Studios