Review: ‘The New Mutants’ release satisfies moviegoers’ longing for return to cinema


Makayla Archambeault

On Aug. 26, 2020, 20th Century Fox released “The New Mutants” in theaters, the film was originally set to release on Mar. 12, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Makayla Archambeault, Editor-in-Chief

Ever since I was old enough to understand what movies were, the magic of going to the movie theater was always a very easy way to entertain me. While I didn’t always understand how to appreciate all the work that goes into me sitting back and enjoying a movie on the big screen, I never turned down an offer to go to the movies.

I never realized how much time I really spent at the movie theater until I wasn’t able to go. When the theaters shut down due to COVID-19 and Hollywood went dark I, along with millions of other fans, was forced to watch as heavily anticipated movies of 2020 such as “Wonder Woman 1984”, “Black Widow”, “Top Gun: Maverick”, “A Quiet Place Part II” and “In the Heights” were indefinitely postponed.

While streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ were able to keep cinema fans quelled with the releasing of new shows and movies, some of which would have premiered on the big screen, nothing was really able to compare to going to watch it on in the theater, at least for me.

When studios began announcing new release dates for films post-COVID-19, it finally hit me how much I missed the cinematic experience of seeing a new film for the first time at my local theater, the B&B. I immediately looked up showtimes on Fandango and found that 20th Century Studios announced the release of their movie “The New Mutants” in collaboration with Marvel Studios, a movie I remembered piquing my interest pre-COVID-19. I was beyond excited and texted my dad requesting that we immediately buy tickets for the show.

While tedious at the time of my text, my dad ended up surprising me with tickets and soon enough, my dad, my uncle and I found ourselves sitting in the comfy recliners of the B&B with popcorn and drinks, ready to see the latest X-Men movie.

While “The New Mutants” was not the very best comic-book adapted movie I have ever watched, it certainly was not the worst. The movie felt very mediocre and not much really stood out. The first act of the movie dragged on as it established the five main characters that the story centers around.

While the second act was exhilarating and fast-paced, the already short movie (one hour and 34 minutes), felt as if it could even be 15-30 minutes shorter. The extremely small cast and one setting for the majority of the movie gave the entire movie a very focused atmosphere, especially for fans of the X-Men movies, who know what else is going on in the cinematic universe, while the movie only focuses on a small corner of it.

The shifting focuses on the five main characters, while interesting as far as keeping the audience on their toes, felt very disproportionate at times. The main character out of the five, Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt), while the whole movie centers around her character’s life and actions, did not feel like the focus for the majority of the movie. 

During the end of the first act of the movie, heavy focus is placed on the characters Rahne Sinclair (Maisie Williams) and Sam Guthrie (Charlie Heaton), particularly Sinclair, this sets up big plot points based around these characters in the audience’s mind, that were never really followed through with. However, during the second act of the movie, the main focus shifts to the character Illyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy). While these shifts seem to have been an attempt to develop other plot points and bend the audience’s thoughts as to which characters to trust or not, it ultimately just felt unnecessarily confusing and unbalanced and left the character Roberto da Costa (Henry Zaga) in the dust.

Despite the imbalance of character focus in the movie, most of the performances by the actors were outstanding despite the pressures placed on them by the success of the previous X-Men movies. In addition to this, although the movie took place in the X-Men universe, the switch to a more horror-based superhero film not only enhanced the movie but was executed very well visually. The movie maintained it’s superhero feel and also threw in enough horror elements to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, a feat that is only sometimes achieved by the pure adrenaline that regular superhero movies elicit. 

Visually, the movie was extremely engaging but sometimes excessive, which, personally, I excused due to the fact that the movie’s atmosphere was very specific and somewhat of a peculiar taste, but the visuals definitely fit the atmosphere created.

The movie was not the only thing that was able to maintain its unique atmosphere, as the theater, despite new health regulations, was able to preserve the homelike feel while also taking safety precautions.

While waiting in the lobby, face masks were required and self-serve drinks and snacks were no longer permitted for customers, but there was always an employee ready to help. The actual theater was not very crowded and seats available for reservations were separated by two seats in order to adhere to social distancing. 

In addition to this, an informational video that played before the beginning of the movie informed guests of many safety precautions taken, one of which included the sanitation of all theaters after each showing with CDC approved sanitation spray. The environment created at the theater by the staff was able to maintain that comfy atmosphere while also making guests feel comfortable and safe, despite health concerns. It took no time for me to adjust to the different experience and I fell right back into the comfortable magic that the movie theater has always created for me.

To view the trailer for “The New Mutants” click here.

To purchase tickets for “The New Mutants” click here.