It’s been three years since the first The New Mutants trailer was released. Three years since the hype began, and we all had high hopes. But then the movie kept getting postponed, and at some point, people began to wonder if the movie was cursed somehow. Now, the movie is finally in theaters. But was it worth the wait?
Short answer: Disputable.
Long answer: It wasn’t bad, but I had much higher hopes. So here is my honest review about The New Mutants movie.
The New Mutants movie is based on the New Mutants comics, particularly the Demon Bear saga. Now, I haven’t read that saga yet (I’ve wanted to for a while, though). I have read some New Mutants comics, which is why I was excited for the movie. However, after watching it, I could tell they were short on time and budget. So I’m just going to list my points of critique.
We really gotta talk about this…
First things first, there is one aspect that bugged me even before the movie was released: the blatant whitewashing of Sunspot and Cecilia Reyes. While a Brazilian actor portrayed Sunspot, Henry Zaga’s skin tone is quite a bit lighter than his comic counterpart. The same goes for Alice Braga, who portrayed Cecilia Reyes (a Black woman). Many people have voiced their critique about it, and when asked about it in an interview, Josh Boone clearly stated that he didn’t care about it.
The problem with this is that BIPOC (Black and indigenous people of color) already lack representation as it is. So casting a person from the right country isn’t enough when they don’t have the skin tone to match. It would be like casting a white American for the role of a Black American and saying it doesn’t matter because they’re both American. For Sunspot, specifically, the race aspect is important because racism was what triggered his mutant ability. So, when you cast someone who doesn’t have the same dark skin tone, that backstory kind of falls flat. That’s why Boone saying that he doesn’t care about race is harmful because it actually does matter. This whole thing made me enjoy the film a lot less, and it’s also something that should be talked about because it’s not okay.
Added on top of that: Illyana made some racist remarks towards Dani, a native American character (and actress), which was not only unnecessary but also felt very out of character for Illyana.
Rushing and messy acting
I’ve heard many people say, “The movie felt like it was the first draft.” I, sadly, have to agree. Everything felt very rushed, and the storyline seemed to waver at times. It just felt … unfinished somehow. Like they were skipping parts.
Some of the acting felt messy too. Now, I have seen most of these actors in other films and series, and I know they can act, but somehow in this movie, they weren’t as strong. I also know that Blu Hunt (Dani) is fairly new to acting, so I’m going to cut her some slack. But I expected more from the others. Speaking of acting, Sam/Charlie Heaton’s accent and Illyana/Anya Taylor-Joy’s accents were very clearly fake and also seemed to change a lot in strength. This definitely showed me that there was a lack of time and budget, and that’s too bad.
Are there any good parts?
Yes, there are. I did think the special effects were good (although I don’t have much knowledge on that, so maybe others disagree). I did really like Rahne’s casting and character (I love her in the comics as well, and Maisie absolutely killed it). I’m also a sucker for people figuring out their powers, so I did enjoy that as well.
The overall movie itself wasn’t terrible like some people would say it is. It’s an okay movie, I would say. If you’re like me and you’re not super critical when it comes to movies, it can be enjoyable. Though for a movie that called itself a horror movie, it wasn’t that scary, apart from maybe three small scenes.
My final verdict is that The New Mutants is worth a watch, but you have to watch it with a grain of salt, so to say.
The New Mutants is now out in cinemas.