“The New Mutants” was directed by Josh Boone who previously did 2014’s “Fault in Our Stars”. This is 13th and final film in the “X-Men” franchise after Fox was purchased by Disney. The film stars Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga and Alice Braga. While the movie was shot in 2017, it would miss its original 2018 release date by at least a year and a half.
After a mysterious tornado destroys her Native American plantation, a young girl, Dani (Hunt) is taken to a medical facility in an unknown location. Dani is visited by Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Braga) who informs her that she has been bought to this specific facility due to the fact that she is a mutant. Unbeknown to her, Dani doesn’t even know what her power is but Reyes on the other hand is a mutant who has can project protective shields around anything. Dani joins the other mutants, Illyana (Taylor-Joy) who has sorcery powers, Rahne (Williams), a Scottish girl who can transform into a werewolf, Sam (Heaton) who can propel himself into the air and no injure himself and Bobby (Zaga) who can generate solar energy. They each have their own codenames. Illyana was “Magik”, Bobby was “Sunspot”, Rahne was “Wolfsbane” and Sam was “Cannonball”. Dani’s power remain unknown however she begins to be have nightmares of spiritual bear coming for her. While Dani believes it is a Native American folklore, Reyes believes it maybe Dani’s powers coming to fruition. The bear is only beginning as the rest of mutants begin experiencing nightmares of their own which also happens to be their respected origin stories. The psychological test of what is real and not is bought to forefront and the mutants must put aside their differences if they are to survive.
You would think the hype after the delays and rumored reshoots that Disney and or Fox would improve the film in every way. This film is a mixed bag being both a solid horror movie and a superhero movie. The look and feel of this film was drastic change in the genre, taking the horror movie route. However, the clashing tones cause major shifts and an uneven direction. The acting in great. The 5 mutants show great depth, personality and chemistry. The moments the superhero film are great from the action sequences to the power reveals.
Overall, this film was solid as both a horror and superhero film. While the acting was great the clashing tones can be a bit distracting. In my opinion this movie should’ve came out after “Logan” and before “Dark Phoenix” to keep that entertaining momentum. While it wasn’t nowhere near as good as “Logan”, it was way better than “Dark Phoenix”. I understand that change in studios causing delay but was it really worth the wait? The original plan was that this film was supposed to be the first film in a new, darker trilogy but after Disney came in, those plans were scrapped. After this entertaining outing and interesting shift in the genre, it will be interesting to see if Disney can keep this concept and take their franchise in this type of direction.