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.
For modern day superhero comic book adaptations 20th Century Fox was one of the first. So, depending on whether you were a fan of their films or not when it comes to Marvel characters, you’d at least have to give the studio respect for laying out the template. However, it’s beyond me that after 20 years of filmmaking this is what we end up with for their final bout.
Without wasting anytime, The New Mutants is the worst X-Men film to date. It is obvious the studio had no plans or ideas for where they wanted the story to go. And it’s even more clear that the majority of what happened during production was left on the cutting room floor. Initially, it was their intention to have horror elements throughout to deliver a different tone from all of the similar films that came before. This was watered down tremendously and turned into a G-Rated Freddy Kruger movie. Nothing was frightening about the story at all.
In addition to this, there were no interesting characters to latch unto, and anytime one of them attempted to show emotion it was an exaggerated expression that came across as pandering to the audience. As a lifelong comic book fan myself, I have a better understanding of such characters than the average moviegoer, and I still found myself confused on what powers some of the mutants possessed. There was also the chance for a lovely romantic relationship developing between two of the characters, but the relationship didn’t seem genuine and was more aligned with a kindergarten puppy love playground scene. The rest of the cast was nothing more than stereotypes that we’ve seen countless times before.
I believe one of the biggest misfires of this film was just how boring it was. Nothing ever happened, and there was no true villain other than someone’s imagined demon bear! The fact that there wasn’t a decent display of powers from the mutants will forever be a mystery. I would have been satisfied if at least the picture of the film had nice cinematography, but that was absent as well. You’re left with dull, gloomy images that appear to be mud instead of something colorful. What makes comic book films standout is the display of powers, the combination of such powers, and the strategy used in battle to come to a victory. Apparently, this was not in the thought process when the script was being crafted together.
In the end there wasn’t anything exciting about the film besides the credits hitting the screen letting you know it’s safe to go to the bathroom. The film suffered from fear within the studio. Fear to be bold, fear to be different, and fear to standout that resulted into nothing that’s worth remembering. If this was the first attempt by a studio to try to figure out the formula, this possibly would have been forgiven. Yet when the same studio is able to deliver some of the best comic book films in motion picture history, this half-baked attempt of a money grab is a waste of everyone’s time and a slap in the face to fans.