FILM UNFILTERED – Talented cast is the only saving grace of ‘The New Mutants’

FILM UNFILTERED – Talented cast is the only saving grace of ‘The New Mutants’

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The recently released “The New Mutants” was originally supposed to come out years ago but was held up due to multiple delays and re-shoots, not to mention the sale of 20th Century Fox to Disney last August.

“The New Mutants” are the junior varsity X-Men if you will and were created back in the 1980s to expand on the mutant popularity permeating the Marvel comic books. It maintained the same original premise as the X-Men, a group of young teenagers with fascinating powers are brought together to form a younger team and learn how to harness and hone their abilities. With the success of the X-Men films as well as the Wolverine and Deadpool movies this film was perhaps going to be the next franchise for Fox.

Regrettably, such successes were never in store for this much-maligned film because it strays so far from the source material and comes off looking and feeling like at least a half dozen other television shows that have handled this genre better. The only credit this film deserves is for its casting and adhering to and sticking to the powers each teenager is imbued with.

Here, the kids are brought together under auspicious conditions and find themselves prisoners in a psychiatric ward where they are being evaluated by the mysterious Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga). There is Illyana Rasputin/Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy), Rahne/Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams), Roberto da Costa/Sunspot (Henry Zaga), Sam Guthrie/Cannonball (Charlie Heaton), and Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt).

When the kids exhibit their powers, the special effects are really good and capture how it is depicted in the comics, but the film loses all of its cohesion about halfway through and you find it very difficult to maintain much interest in where this plot is going because it can be so convoluted at points. I am sure that one day Marvel Studio boss Kevin Feige will resurrect this film once again (along with all of the other X-Men films) and he will do with it like he has done with the other 23 films he has successfully overseen. It will be done fittingly under his watch. The sad part is that the actors in this film actually fit their characters really well.

The cast here is excellent even though some of them look vastly younger than you’ve more recently seen them. Probably none more so than Williams who played Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones” and Heaton who played Charlie on Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Considering this film was shot over three years ago this shouldn’t come as a shock. Taylor-Joy was great in “The Witch,” “Split” and “Glass” and she really excels and revels in her role as the powerful Magik.

I think in the grand scheme of things, this film would’ve worked better had it been released a couple of years ago. Now it just seems like a pale comparison when held against the standards of “Infinity War.” Honestly, this film should have been left to collect dust and never seen the light of day under the circumstances; it is an embarrassment to everyone associated with it.

Starring in “The New Mutants” are from left, Charlie Heaton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga and Maisie Williams.