The New Mutants introduces a squad of super-powered teens, including Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair and Anna Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin. As the cast introduces us to their characters, director Josh Boone gives us a playlist of his cinematic inspirations for the movie.
After a near-death experience during a strange tornado, Danielle Moonstar awakens in an abandoned research facility run by the mysterious Dr Cecilia Reyes. There, Dr Reyes introduces Dani to four other equally uncommon teenagers: Illyana Rasputin, Rahne Sinclair, Sam Guthrie, and Roberto da Costa, who wants to keep them safe and sound until they learn how to be in full control of their extraordinary abilities. However, even though the exceptional team of traumatised inmates believes that they're being treated and cared for, before long, they all start to experience horrifying hallucinations. But, this institution was supposed to be a safe place. Are they patients or prisoners?Written by
The teaser trailer was released on the horror-themed date of Friday, October 13, 2017. See more »
Rasputin's hair bobs appear and disappear on her head. See more »
There's a Native American proverb that says: Inside every person there are two bears, forever locked in combat for your soul. One bear is all things good: compassion, love, trust. The other is all things evil: fear, shame and self-destruction.
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The opening title and closing credits are accompanied by snowfall. See more »
So, I've heard a lot of bad word-of-mouth about this X-Men flick, but otherwise knew very little about it. As such, I went in with low expectations. And although there is nothing remotely novel about the movie, I didn't think it was too bad at all.
The plot: So, my review title suggests that the plot is very closely aligned to M Night Shymalan's "Glass" - his "Split" sequel from last year. A Victorian-style hospital-cum-prison similarly forms the claustrophobic setting for the majority of the movie. This is where the troubled teen Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) is taken after being suddenly orphaned in dramatic and mysterious circumstances. The only doctor present, Dr Reyes (Alice Braga), says she is being held there for her own - and society's safety - while her puberty-driven mutant tendencies emerge.
Locked away with her is Rahne (Maisie Williams), Charlie (Sam Guthrie), 'hot' Brazilian hunk Roberto (Henry Zaga) and the gloriously named Illyana Rasputin (Anya-Taylor Joy). Danni's arrival sparks a serious of escalating events that literally lead to all hell breaking loose.
Blu is the warmest colour: What made this Marvel movie stand-out for me, from the normal glass-shattering standard, is that it is predominantly a character-led piece. We spend quite a bit of time (for a Marvel movie) in building relationships between the teens, including a sweet lesbian-coming-out 'will they/won't they' tension between Rahne and Danni.
I was also very much attracted to the performance of Blu Hunt. I admit that this might not just be due to her interesting performance (the indigenous / LBGT angle is intriguing) but because she reminded me strongly of a girl at school who I had a mad crush on and completely failed to get off with! Blu is actually native American (from the Lakota tribe). Given she is the lead and has to carry the movie, it's a surprise that she is only about 5th in the billing: I'd have been upset with the director (Josh "A Fault in our Stars" Boone) about that.
Maisie Williams is also effective in this, and gets top billing, although arguably Anya-Taylor-Joy has emerged - with her wonderful "Emma" - as the bigger star since filming.
But it's Taylor-Joy's Rasputin that really stands out as the most interesting of the characters on show. There's a scene where she goes into action - eyes blazing and 'daemon' hovering - that would make a splendid PC screensaver! Stuff the "Black Widow" standalone movie: I'd go watch Illyana Rasputin kicking ass in her own follow-up movie! (Of course, Anya Taylor-Joy was also prominent in "Glass", which unfortunately cements the similarities between the films.)
The movie has had a long and tortuous path to its final release, being made waaaaaayyyyy back in 2017. As an X-Men movie, it's appeared after the X-Men universe finally imploded (with the disappointing whimper of "Dark Phoenix"). So in that sense it's a bit of a ghost of a flick.
Overall, it's a mixed bag. There's a sense of great familiarity with the contents - particularly with the strong echoes of "Glass", actually filmed after this one (but with 'inversion', who knows anymore?). Even the "Indian legend" that runs through the movie swaps a bear for a wolf but ends with a familiar, rather groan-inducing, motto. (It was used in "Tomorrowland" I think?)
But the young cast are attractive and entertained me for the (pleasantly short) running time. It's not going to win any prizes for originality, or indeed anything else. But it really wasn't the X-Men bust I expected it to be.
(For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies on t'interweb or Facebook. Thanks.)
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