First review of delayed X-Men film 'The New Mutants' calls it 'generic'

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·2-min read
Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin in 'The New Mutants'. (Credit: 20th Century Studios)
Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin in 'The New Mutants'. (Credit: 20th Century Studios)

It seems strange to say it, but The New Mutants is finally here — and the first reviews are trickling out into the world.

A spin-off from the X-Men franchise, the film features Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlie Heaton amongst its rising star cast.

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The horror-inflected movie, which features a young group of mutants in a psychiatric institution, filmed in the summer of 2017 with an April 2018 release date on the calendar.

It was subsequently delayed for reshoots — which never happened due to the busy schedules of the young stars — and then got caught up in the Fox-Disney merger, followed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rotten Tomatoes currently lists three reviews for the movie, with two from Spanish outlets — one positive, one negative — and the third from US outlet The Hollywood Reporter.

Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Anya Taylor-Joy in <i>The New Mutants</i>. (Twentieth Century Studios)
Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Anya Taylor-Joy in The New Mutants. (Twentieth Century Studios)

Writing in the latter publication, critic Jordan Mintzer said the film was “generic and, at its best, straining to be heartfelt”.

He wrote: “Since it was made three years ago, The New Mutants already feels like it belongs in another, perhaps more innocent, epoch.

“More specifically, it feels like it was made sometime in the 1980s or 90s and that it was inspired, along with the above sources, by the proto-high-school movie classic The Breakfast Club”.

Read more: New Mutants director not bothered by how it’s released

Mintzer added that the movie “isn’t even as scary as it could be”, blaming the PG-13 certificate for this.

The film has a 15 rating in the UK for “strong threat, bloody images and abuse references”.

Director Josh Boone, Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlie Heaton on the set of 'The New Mutants'. (Credit: Claire Folger/20th Century Studios)
Director Josh Boone, Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlie Heaton on the set of 'The New Mutants'. (Credit: Claire Folger/20th Century Studios)

Mintzer was able to see The New Mutants in Paris, in the midst of controversy among US critics, who were reportedly not offered online links or press screenings for the title.

High-profile publications, including The AV Club, have stated that they will not review the movie if they are required to take the risk of attending a multiplex in order to do so.

Read more: Upcoming UK movie releases in 2020

It had been speculated that the movie would head straight to one of Disney’s streaming platforms — Disney+ or Hulu — but director Josh Boone has explained that contracts required it to be released theatrically first.

The New Mutants is due to be released in the USA on 28 August, with the formal release in the UK due on 4 September — though there are previews this weekend.

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