It sat on the shelf for years, but 20th Century Fox studios has finally unleashed “The New Mutants” on filmgoers. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was worth the wait, but this PG-13, horror-ish sci-fi comic book flick isn’t as terrible as expected. If you’re a disinterested teen looking for some mild, gore-less action and pubescent angst, this may be just what the doctor ordered.
Based on the 1982 Marvel graphic novel, the movie follows the story of four young mutants being held in an isolated hospital for psychiatric monitoring. The emotionless Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga) is the sole overseer of Rahne (Maisie Williams), Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam (Charlie Heaton), and Roberto (Henry Zaga), and she believes the teenagers are a danger to not only themselves, but society as a whole. Their existence in captivity is upended when Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) joins the secret facility as a patient, and everyone starts having terrifying hallucinations after her arrival.
There isn’t much to the plot; the story is the weakest element. The cast is tolerable and the special effects are decent, but this cross between “Flatliners” and “The Breakfast Club” is uninspired and routine. The characters are flat stereotypes (the rich kid, the country bumpkin, the cool but mean girl, the meek religious girl, and the kind, inquisitive girl), and the superficial dialogue could’ve been written by bored preteens at a Saturday night slumber party.
I suppose not much more could’ve been done with this film, and it’s hardly the stinker you’d expect it to be. But “The New Mutants” is a young adult franchise that probably won’t go anywhere after this cinematic entry, and I won’t be losing any sleep over it.
By: Louisa Moore