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The New Mutants Cannoli Send a noteboard - 13/09/2020 04:46:08 AM

If you don't know the source material or didn't pay much attention to the trailers, you should know that "New Mutants" is an X-men film. Sort of. It's in the same setting, and they know the X-men exist, and I think I like this eclectic approach to the films, where it's just a world with mutants and X-men and whatnot, but not in service to some big epic story. I really don't care much for the seven actual X-men films, and I think New Mutants joins "Logan" and "Deadpool 1&2" as the standouts of the franchise.

It's not spectacular, but it's also not very ambitious. Plotwise, this is more like a horror movie, until the climactic battle scenes, which feeds into my rule that you're better off trying to tell another kind of story, than a superhero one.

Danielle Moonstar, played by Blu Hunt, has her home on an Indian reservation destroyed, ostensibly by a tornado, but more likely, given what kind of movie you're watching, some unseen force. She wakes up in a nearly empty hospital/asylum, with a dimly lit, horror setting vibe. She learns that she's a mutant, and the facility is for young mutants to be tested to find out their powers and to learn to control them for their protection and that of the rest of the world. That Magneto or Apocalypse or Jean haven't stomped into smithereens, I suppose. Alice Braga is their keeper, doctor and teacher, working with them to help them join their sponsoring organization, about which she is rather reticent, but the kids figure out that she's talking about Xavier's school. Unfortunately, something is haunting the students, bringing to life their nightmares and recalling the traumatic experiences of their childhoods and emerging powers.

Sam Guthrie is a redneck kid with a power of self-propulsion, played by Charlie Heaton from Stranger Things, Roberto Costa is a rich kid from South America who seems to be a bit OCD and is really reluctant to talk about his powers, and Maisie Williams plays Rain, whose backstory is basically Carrie by Stephen King, although instead of being psychic, her power makes her casting almost too on-the-nose, to the point that I balked at believing the obvious clues. The final patient/student/inmate is Anya Taylor-Joy from "Morgan" "The VVitch" and "Split" making her apparently locked in to genre typecasting. She plays Ilyana Rasputin, a Russian whose role is initially the mean girl/bully of the group, but whose traumatic history humanizes her considerably. Her powers are...different. Consultation with a X-men fan on Tumblr reveals that the original character had the power to make portals, but tangling with a demon resulted in her getting a magic sword that doesn't hurt people and only cuts magic. It covers her sword arm in armor, which I originally scoffed at because it seemed like turning your body into metal is the go-to power for Russian mutants. But it's not that. Hilariously, there is still a connection there, but just from a different angle, which does not come into this movie at all. And there's a thing with her dragon sock puppet.

So the kids and the doctor, trapped in the facility by an energy field, and isolated, anecdotally 20 miles from the nearest town, have to find out what is the source of this psychic phenomenon, while trying to cope with the traumas it recalls. And their connection to the main facility might be compromised.

As I said, I liked it better than most X-men films, but I also like "Venom" better than most Spider-man films, so YMMV. I don't remember the rating, but I'd guess PG-13, although you might not want to take the kids, despite the characters' age group, if you aren't comfortable with them seeing gay stuff, the only significant romantic plot being of that sort. The violence is more superhero than horror, and there isn't much gore.

Cannoli
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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The New Mutants - 13/09/2020 04:46:08 AM 149 Views

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