STORY- Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.
REVIEW- With the announcement of the plot and the cast (and who they would be playing) of The New Mutants, it seemed the promise of a refreshingly out-of-the-box superhero flick was assured.
An adaptation of the X-Men spinoff comic, it would pit five young, insecure mutants with developing superpowers against an oppressive facility with seemingly sinister supernatural properties, and draw heavily in influence from both classic horror movies like Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) and teen flicks like The Breakfast Club (1985)
The fact that The New Mutants even halfway lives up to that promise is mainly down to the young cast of vividly drawn characters, particularly the trio of girls in the eponymous mutant group.
Most attention-grabbing is Anya Taylor Joy as Illanya Rasputin (great name!), a Russian teenager whose surly attitude and frequent sarcastic putdowns come from some deep seated-trauma, which Taylor-Joy makes clear through an expert balance of vulnerability and bluster.
The biggest surprise for me was Maisie Williams’s performance as Rahne Sinclair, a Scottish mutant who had the misfortune of being born into a small community overseen by a religious zealot, and who at firsts presents as a mousy, good-hearted soul determined to cure her ‘affliction’.
As a Scotsman, I can confidently say that her accent was pretty good, and I believed her as an emotionally damaged soul who gradually begins to come out of her shell. That’s mostly thanks to her budding romance with Danielle Moonstar, a recent arrival in the facility who’s just suffered a traumatic incident that may be linked to her mysterious mutant abilities.
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