Five teenage mutants try to escape from a secret facility
that is testing their abilities for their own sinister agenda.
The New Mutants (2020)
Directed by Josh Boone
Written by Josh Boone and Knate Lee
Starring Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy,
Alice Braga, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Adam Beach
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
Ah, yes, The New Mutants. The forgotten Marvel film. The film that Fox limped to the barn with. The end of the X-Men franchise. Following the disaster that was Dark Phoenix, I won't say expectations were high for this film that had five release dates in its brief theatrical run. But I think fans expected something different, at least. And in that respect, The New Mutants isn't bad. It's as much of a horror film as Fox, and later Disney, would allow it to be, and there are aspects that are surprisingly freaky, mostly the Smiling Men. I didn't hate it, but I could tell it was a victim of studio interference.
This film takes place in Fox's X-Men universe, where mutants are hated and feared by society. The Essex Corporation (a.k.a. the constant Mr. Sinister tease we got throughout the franchise that Fox never followed through with) kidnaps mutants on the cusp of puberty, locks them in an institution, and experiments on them to determine whether their powers can be weaponized. After losing her family to a bizarre incident, Dani Moonstar (Hunt) ends up at this facility, run by the two-faced Dr. Reyes (Braga). There's also Rahne (Williams), Illyana (Taylor-Joy), Sam (Heaton), and Roberto (Zaga), who round out the comic-accurate team of the New Mutants. I thought the character development on these guys was decent, though it could've gone farther. The film was in desperate need of a good villain. The final act sees Dr. Reyes devoured by a giant demon bear, which then becomes our villain. I read that it was supposed to be Mr. Sinister, played by Jon Hamm, but the suits recut the movie.
The New Mutants is nowhere near the dumpster fire that people have claimed it is. I thought Dark Phoenix was exponentially worse, as both an X-Men movie and just a movie in general. This film kept my interest throughout. But it feels hollow, like there was a better movie in here that got extracted like a tumor by the goddamn suits. Considering we did eventually get the Snyder Cut of Justice League, I'd love to dream that we one day get the Boone Cut of The New Mutants.