“New Mutants” is a Refreshingly Queer X-Men Film
I was not expecting not like New Mutants because Disney buried the film by not having it only being released into theaters instead of on streaming services, such as their new service Disney+. But it I actually found it to be quite entertaining and refreshing as a superhero/”horror” film. (I write horror in quotes because it wasn’t very scary, although it might be scarier to it’s younger target audience.) New Mutants follows Dani Moonstar who gets sent to a institution, leaving her reservation. They claim to be treating her for latent mutant powers, here she meets other mutant teens. The institution becomes dangerous, as it is haunted by the teens worst fears. Dani befriends Rahne, in particular who turns out to be romantic interest. I did think that Rahne’s’ character and her relationship with Dani could better developed. Afterall, Dani says that she has trouble convincing herself that Rahne is real because she is too nice to Rain. And honestly I agreed, Rain didn’t seem like a real character.
The acting wasn’t great, although again I think this due to lack of character development. particularly with Anya Taylor Joy’s performance failing to be convincing. In her defense, her character Illyana, was somewhat of a generic bully, who used racist insults towards her Dani. Despite the character being problematic, I do really love her mutant powers and overall aesthetic of her armour sleeve and sword, algthough, my friend has pointed out that the next generation of mutants has become overpowered because writers feel pressured to constantly raise the stakes which is ultimately unecessary. We do as audience, learn a little more of Illyana’s backstory, but I would like to see more of it. That’s really my main issue with the film, we get a little bit of each characters backstory, but I think we could get more information. It felt like New Mutants was the first pilot episode of a tv show, and usually the pilot episode is not the best in the series. So I look forward to seeing more of New Mutants assuming that the storyline isn’t scrapped since the film flopped. Although, there are some writing issues in the film, I think that they could be improved in sequel and I find it refreshing to see a canonically sapphic Native American protagonist in superhero film. I would recommend as more fantastical superhero film with horror elements and diverse representation (in addition to the LGBT+ representation, all of the teens have ethnicities or nationalities) that does not require a lot of critical thinking.