23 January 2021 | MinistryofDoom
The Final and Unfortunate Nail in Fox's X-Men Franchise
The New Mutants is one of the stranger entries into what is now known as Marvel's Legacy films (Marvel's films under Fox prior to it's merger with Disney). The New Mutants is 20th Century Fox's final nail in the coffin for it's X-men related films. Everything to follow The New Mutants will be directly produced by Disney/Marvel and incorporated into the MCU over time. This is good as it will allow Marvel to finally correct all the issues with the X-men's fractured timelines and convoluted films. For those who don't know, The New Mutants was Marvel's precursor to X-Force which is originally led by Cable, the anti-hero introduced in Deadpool 2.
However, instead of a standard superhero origin story like Spiderman or X-Men, The New Mutants began it's story in a world where mutants already exist, and apparently have existed for some time. While it's not directly linked to the X-men or Deadpool films, atleast not on the surface, it does mention the fact that the X-men and Professor X do exist in this world and are an active superhero team. All the characters are canon original members of what would later become X-Force, except for Magik, Illyana Rasputin. According to Marvel lore, she's the sister of Colossus, the large metal X-man featured in Deadpool and Deadpool 2, though she never even mentions that he exists. These kids....the "new mutants"......Magik, Cannonball,Wolfsbane, Sunspot, and Mirage, find themselves trapped in high security institution, which is so high security that it let's them walk around freely as long as they don't leave the premises. Each day they attend sessions with their handler, a mysterious woman named Dr. Cecilia Reyes, who's job is to help them learn to harness and control their powers. Throughout the film there is a foreboding sense that things aren't what they seem. Little by little the teens discover evidence that make them question why they're there and draw questions about the motives of their handler. Initially they believe that they're being prepared to join the X-men but is that why they're really there? Things come to a head when they begin to ask questions and seek answers on their own leading to an action-packed battle between good and evil.
In terms of the greater X-men films, this is a nice change from all of the time travel, multiple versions of multiple characters thing that has so deeply destroyed the X-men series. However, among the X-films, it's not one of the good ones. It's not one of the worst either. I saved that place for Apocalypse until Dark Phoenix beat it.
Nevertheless, I appreciate it's choice to step away from traditional costumed superhero action and attempt to tell a much darker story in the same film universe. I just wish it was executed better. The honest truth is that if you never read any of the comicbooks like I have, and have only seen the other X-men films, you would have no idea who these people are or why you should care about them. Their characters are unfortunately not developed well at all. Viewers won't know anything about them; for the most part, they don't even go by their comicbook superhero names (as I've referred to them above) but rather by their regular names. Honestly, do YOU know who are Rahne Sinclair or Sam Guthrie? Probably not, unless you're a fellow X-Nerd. The New Mutants doesn't even give them the courtesy of identifying who they are through a proper introduction. Most of them don't even exhibit their powers through most of the film. Sure, you're given hints and glimpses into what they might be capable but it's not enough to know what they're all about. While it does drop several easter eggs here and there for the true fans, they're so well hidden that most people won't even notice. Simon Kinberg was on record as saying that wanted something that resembled a mash of Stephen King and John Hughes-like horror set in a superhero world. While that sounds fantastic, it doesn't feel like, in this particular instance, it was successfully achieved. Unfortunately, during development, there were alot of script rewrites and several people who were set to join the film were either re-cast or dropped entirely. In the end, what we got was a generic pyschological horror film which was painted over with X-Men references and in the end, it just didn't feel right. It didn't work. It could have been so much better had they developed the idea some more.
In the end, if you're a fan of the Fox X-Men movies, you may choose to see this but I assure you that if you decide to skip it, you won't miss out on anything important to the overall X-Men franchise.