My Thoughts on: The New Mutants (2020)

So when I announced that I was finally watching The New Mutants, the reaction was so mixed that I was genuinely nervous when I put the blu-ray in to watch it, even though I’d promised to go in with as open a mind as possible.

As it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried because, believe it or not, I liked The New Mutants!

Now, to be sure, the film does have its flaws (and I’ll be getting to them) but they don’t negate the fact that I found The New Mutants to be an overall enjoyable experience. The film is based on the Marvel comics team of the same name and focuses on Dani Moonstar, Rahne, Ilyana, Roberto and Sam, five young mutants who are allegedly being treated at a hospital until they can control their powers. The truth proves to be slightly more complicated, and Dani’s arrival at the facility brings events to a head.

First of all, I love all of the mutant powers featured in this movie, especially Ilyana’s. The idea that you can visit a magic dimension that you made real….I just love that. She’s also a total badass with that sword. I really hate that I know that there aren’t any plans to make a sequel of this film, because I want/need to see more of Ilyana and what her powers can do. Also, no surprise since I’m still a big fan of Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams as Rahne was one of my favorite parts of the movie (though am I the only one who finds it ironic what her mutant power is given Arya Stark’s connection to wolves in Game of Thrones?). Her chemistry with Blu Hunt (who played Dani) was so much fun to watch and is the exact kind of friendship/relationship I like to see form in movies between characters.

There are however, as I said, some flaws in this film that keep it from being a truly great film. The biggest issue for me is that Dani’s connection to the demon bear isn’t explained to my satisfaction. I kind of get what the film is trying to tell me about how it works, but a more straightforward explanation would have helped. Don’t get me wrong though, I ultimately love that demon bear for what it does to a certain character. At the same time, Dani’s powers in general could have used a slightly better explanation. I’m also a little confused by Ilyana’s past trauma; like, I initially thought she’d been kidnapped by aliens and it wasn’t until later that it dawned on me that they might’ve been a symbol for something much, much worse.

I also feel like the film could’ve gone into the horror part of the story a little more (though it’s my understanding that was due to events outside of the director’s control). The horror elements that ARE there are fantastic, I just want more of it! The overall tone is also uneven in places. One minute it’s a semi-serious story, the next I’m vividly reminded of a 90s flick where the teens are all goofing off (complete with peppy rock music). It’s almost like the story can’t make up its mind what genre it’s in.

The one character I actually don’t like at all is Dr. Reyes (and not just because she’s an antagonist). For most of the film she came off as very one note. At least towards the end she finally begins to show some emotion, if she’d been that way earlier in the story I might have liked the character better.

Even with those flaws, I still love The New Mutants. It’s the very definition of a fun popcorn film, whose flaws don’t (or at least shouldn’t) get in the way of enjoying it. I’m glad I finally sat down to watch it and I can’t wait to see it again in the future.

Let me know what you think about The New Mutants in the comments below and have a great day!

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