Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE NEW MUTANTS

Prepare yourselves for one of the only few slightly positive reviews for THE NEW MUTANTS you are likely to ever get. That’s because A. it wasn’t screened for critics, which in turn B. pissed them off, whining about not getting screeners so that they instead just wrote articles on how they won’t review it because they refuse to go to a theater during COVID-19, C. Hardly any reviews at all, and D. Those that did go to a theater to review it were probably biased to write a bad review because of the film’s history and are still pissed off that they didn’t get a screener. So who ya gonna trust? Regular people like me that aren’t quite professional critics that can and will brave a trip to the theaters. And ones that will judge a movie fairly and don’t have an agenda de-testing theaters and trying to essentially destroy their day jobs. So what do regular people think of the movie? Eh, we think it’s okay. In parts it is actually quite good. But it isn’t as bad as real critics are making it out to be, calling it “the worst X-Men film ever,” or “dumb dumb, so fucking dumb.” No, for us that easily goes to Origins: Wolverine or the abysmal, abysmal Dark Phoenix. This movie will unfortunately be known for its history more than the final product: being filmed back in 2017, 20th Century Fox at the time and producer Simon Kinberg at odds with the director, them almost scrapping the movie altogether and starting from scratch, setting up reshoots that never happened, endless delays in its release date, 20th Century Fox being bought by Disney, Kinberg’s awful Dark Phoenix receiving terrible reviews and hardly any money, and then Disney having the original director come back and edit and finish up the film, supposed to have come out in April, COVID-19 fucked things up again, and then just finally dumping the film out when theaters decided to re open even though the pandemic isn’t over.

At the end of the day, The New Mutants slightly works for me because of the characters, the acting, and the 2nd half with the action and special effects was actually quite thrilling. However the story, unfocused tone, and lack of scares really didn’t do it any favors.Per IMDB, it describes The New Mutants as: “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.” The real big problem with the movie is the story. There isn’t much of one except the relationship journey of the characters as they’re escaping the facility. There are demons haunting them in this “asylum” like place, but there weren’t any demons until this new young patient came along. So it’s pretty easy to figure out the film’s “secrets” and what happens during the rest of it only ten minutes in. After a really awful looking and blurry beginning, and once all the new, young mutants meet, it’s all their about their personalities eventually learning to accept each other and work as a team. The personality angle absolutely works and along with their acting, makes up for what doesn’t work, which is quite a bit. This movie was marketed from the get-go as being a “scary movie” X-Men Universe film. There are some horror aspects in this film, and one or two things work well, such as the tall and lanky Smiley Men (you’ll see), but other than that, there are absolutely no scares in this movie, not even cheap jump ones. It’s the Breakfast Club stuff that works. Since we all know that Disney will now transition the X-Men to the MCU since they own the characters now, this is going to be the last film in this universe.

And even though there are only a few small references to the past films, there aren’t any big cameos from anyone you know, but fortunately the movie’s story ends and doesn’t really set up any sequels. I’m thankful Disney won’t play with and fuck up the timeline anymore than its already been fucked up by pedophile Singer and co. Brand new slate. There is even a nice LGBTQ love story in this, between Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams and Blu Hunt’s characters that was well fleshed out and felt realistic. And Anya-Taylor Joy is bad ass in this as Magik, with her dead on perfect Russian accent. I also enjoyed Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton’s southern twang drawl. Their interactions with each other and their dialogue are the best parts of the film, and kept me interested the whole way through. Alice Braga, as this asylum’s doctor, is kind of ho-hum until near the end of the film. Wish it would’ve given her a little more to do other than just inject the kids with syringes. And again, the 2nd half is much better than the first. The first takes awhile to get going, but once it does it chugs along at a decent pace, and then once the 2nd half hits it was smooth sailing till end credits. The 2nd half had pretty damn good special effects too. Although I’ve heard of conflicting reports about writer/director Josh Boone’s personality, I think I can safely say that I’m happy he got to complete his vision without it ultimately being tarnished by the studio…other than it’s dumped release. It’s not top tier X-Men, it isn’t even middle tier X-Men (see my ranking of all 20th Century Fox X-Men Universe films below), but it was better than a handful of the lower tier…which really ain’t half bad when you think about it. But then again, how hard is it to be better than fucking Dark Phoenix?

My ranking of all the 20th Century Fox X-Men Films:

  1. Logan
  2. X2
  3. Days of Future Past
  4. First Class
  5. Deadpool 2
  6. The Wolverine
  7. X-Men
  8. Deadpool
  9. The New Mutants
  10. Apocalypse
  11. The Last Stand
  12. Origins: Wolverine
  13. Dark Phoenix

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