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DVD Review

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The New Mutants


Starring: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 28 December 2020

In this action-filled film, five young people who demonstrate special powers are forced to undergo treatment at a secret institution – allegedly to cure them of the dangers of their powers. But it’s soon clear that their containment is part of a much bigger battle between the forces of good and evil...

The Breakfast Club remade as a (not very good) pschological horror movie is how I'd describe The New Mutants. If you're a fan of the comic book series then you'll probably spend most of the time grinning from ear to ear... but, if you've no idea who Mirage, Wolfsbane, Magik, Cannonball, Sunspot and Dr. Cecilia Reyes are then this origins story may be a little confusing.

Part of the film's real issues come with the studios decision to reshoot scenes and focus more on the horror element of the script. Various sources have claimed that about 50% off the movie was reshot and the project was seriously delayed.

The "horror" aspects of it, to my mind, gets a little in the way of discovering who the characters are. And we end up believing that Reyes is [SPOILER ALERT] an evil character working for some shadowy, ruthless organisation, when in fact in the comic books she was briefly part of the X-Men, and even though her time with them was fleeting, she still was on hand to help them whenever she was asked.

It doesn't feel very much like a Marvel superhero movie. The change in direction is bold and almost pays off - it would have been interesting to have seen how it would have faired without the extensive reshoots - but while it steps outside of the tired and cliched superhero movie, it also feels a little out of its depth. It doesn't help that on occassion the dialogue is mumbled.

The inevitable big showdown is pretty much by-the-numbers and looking back over the film there's little to make you want to rewatch it.

Extras include Deleted Scenes (10 min, 52 sec); Origins & Influences (7 min, 27 sec) which sees comics artist Bill Sienkiewicz and the filmmakers explore the origins and influences behind the movie; Meet the New Mutants (7 min, 16 sec) in which cast members share their experiences while filming and reveal how they bonded as a family, much like the characters in the film; 2 x Theatrical Trailers (4 min, 23 sec); and an audio interview, which plays over the film like an audio commentary, with director Josh Boone Chats and artist Bill Sienkiewicz.


Nick Smithson

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