I remember vividly buying Marvel Comic’s second-ever graphic novel, The New Mutants. Taking place in the world of the X-Men, The New Mutants were students studying at the famed, but hidden, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. I read every issue for years, even as my friends bailed early when the art of Bill Sienkiewicz was just too different for their taste (losers!). So, I was pretty excited when Fox announced that my favorite student team was coming to the big screen. Then it didn’t come…then it did…until it didn’t. It sat on the shelf for years—never a good sign.
As a fan, I think managing expectations is the prudent way to go with Josh Boone’s The New Mutants. It’s not your typical superhero film in both setting and cast. Our story features the original team from the comics, except for Illyana (instead of Karma).
“As Dani wanders…a mental hospital, she meets her fellow patients…”
We open with Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt) running from a gigantic bear ravaging her family’s tribal village. The next moment, she awakens handcuffed to a hospital gurney and greeted by Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga), who informs her that her father and the entire community were killed and that Dani may have had something to do with it.
As Dani wanders through what appears to be the grounds of a mental hospital, she meets her fellow patients: Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam (Charlie Heaton), Roberto (Henry Zaga), and Rahne (Maisie Williams). Like every team superhero film, we are introduced not only to the new characters but to their powers as well (read the comics for details). We also learn that Dr. Reyes has powers herself and maintains a psychic dome around the facility, preventing anyone from “escaping.” Everyone is here to get a handle on their abilities before they can fully enroll in the main school.
Dani’s arrival has an unsettling effect on everyone. At night, each member of the team is confronted with the demons of their past, but why? Therein lies the horror and the mystery of The New Mutants.
"…“…the film gives us a fair and relatively accurate portrayal of each character.”"