‘The New Mutants’ doesn’t live up to expectations

Nolan Fullington, News Writer

“The New Mutants” is the film that Disney doesn’t want you to see by changing its release date six times, then finally releasing it when nobody knows theaters are open and exactly one week before a long-awaited Christopher Nolan blockbuster.

Then conveniently, two projectors in the theater house I saw this at were not working. I finally saw it and it felt good to see a new release in a theater again.

However, it felt like a cricket was chirping through the entire runtime, which reflects how I felt while watching it.

A handful of teenage mutants are the only patients in what looks like the location of a “Saw” movie. There is also one doctor in the entire facility and they’re trapped inside and can’t leave because they’re being “trained” to become X-Men. I wonder what is going to happen.

It feels good to finally go to a theater to see a movie and know everything that’s going to happen from the beginning of the film. What was so odd about this film was that it feels like a blender movie, meaning someone put “The Breakfast Club,” “The Dream Warriors,” and “Glass” in a blender and just shredded them all together.

The result is a film where nothing happens for over an hour and then the last 20 minutes is complete schlock.

The movie as a whole isn’t that bad, it’s just very boring. And when I say nothing happens, I mean nothing happens.

It was surprising at how much this material was stretched out just to make it to ninety minutes. You could call that some kind of “escalation,” but it never felt like anything was building.

Things just sort of happen, and all of the scenes feel interchangeable until around the halfway point, where these characters begin to suspect that something is up.

The best part of the film was actually Anya Taylor-Joy. She felt like the only actor who really had a firm grasp on her character and she was the most entertaining to watch.

Everyone else, including the lead, were just boring to watch, because they all felt like the usual teenage characters you need in a John Hughes film, like the bad-boy character, the nice guy, the snotty girl, the innocent girl, etc.

The other main issue with the film is that it tries to be a horror film, but there isn’t much horror in the film to justify its genre. It also turns into a CGI extravaganza at one point, so it’s also not quite a superhero/X-Men film in general. Everything in the film feels like it falls short of something.

However, this film’s premise is a great concept, which is taking the idea of developing superpowers during puberty and making it a horror story. “X-Men 2” briefly touched on that idea as well.

This film does try to follow through with that idea at the end, but for all the film’s subtextual mumbo-jumbo, the film itself is not good enough to justify its higher ideas — very reminiscent to “Tenet,” where everyone likes to discuss the film’s subtext and the intricate wirework of it all, but when you deal in genre, you must first deliver the goods. Then we can discuss its subtext and deeper layers.

So in the case of “The New Mutants,” if your horror movie doesn’t deliver on being a horror movie, then it fails at what it sets out to do regardless of the film’s deeper ideas.

The bottom line is that the film is fine but quite boring. It’s not terrible and it’s certainly not as bad as “Dark Phoenix,” but it’s so middle-of-the-road that there isn’t much to like or be upset about.