Recently, Maisie Williams, who plays Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane in the film, took to Twitter to promote the film. But it was in light of a recent article published by Forbes. Writer Scott Mendelson titled the Review as “‘New Mutants’ Is The Worst ‘X-Men’ Movie Ever”.
To which Williams commented in her retweet of the article, “Sounds like a must see! Get your tickets now”.
‘New Mutants’ Is It The Worst ‘X-Men’ Movie Ever?
In Mendelson’s review of the film, he isn’t pulling any punches with his distaste for Josh Boone’s direction.
“The New Mutants is a miserable motion picture. It’s a monotonous, redundant and irrelevant fantasy flick that fails to commit to being a teen melodrama, a YA fantasy or a horror movie, instead offering half-assed components of all three.”
Despite not going into detail about why all three aspects of what he labels the movie fell short of any semblance of any of them, he ends his assessment by summarizing the film as “a lousy TV pilot for a show that you know didn’t get picked up.”
Which is quite a statement considering the early 90’s television series Generation X was picked up. And watching in through the lens of what is available today for film and television is head-scratching as this show was green-lit, not to mention aired.
Notwithstanding the landscape in which the film was released, and Mendelson’s suppositions about the numbers and what crowd numbers should be during a lingering pandemic.
We have to assess the statement that this is the Worst ‘X-Men’ Movie Ever. It might be fair to say that with the numbers as they are for the preview night as well as the weekend box office. If these were better times. However, we must consider the lingering pandemic fears into those numbers.
Because those numbers are also reflecting who isn’t willing to risk their health to see a film. The weight of going out to watch a movie versus staying at home. And despite Maisie Williams’ insistence to purchase tickets for the film, some states’ theaters are still closed. And states that opened their movie houses up have reduced numbers because of regulations and restrictions on capacity.
All of these things have to factor into the box office returns for The New Mutants.
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Heck, even Williams had to acknowledge the strange environment in which we needed to see the film.
Not Brown Enough?
Overall, Williams gave a positive response to Mendelson’s negative review. What he did mention and praise the movie for being progressive in its LGBT representation. This is shown in Danielle Moonstar and Rahne Sinclaire’s relationship blossoming during the course of the film.
However, for some of the folks in the replies to Williams’ tweet, this was not progressive enough.
“Sounds like a problematic pass for now def not worth risking corona for”- and pictures of the cast members versus their browner comic book counterparts. Which, depending on the coloring and artist, can change skin tone from issue to issue.
“I’m not wasting my time or my money saying this crap the director blatantly admits to whitewashing characters. actors and actresses fight hard for representation and they can’t even find it in a fictional story. That’s a big problem for me and a lot of people.”
And a picture of Alice Braga as Cecelia Reyes versus one picture of her comic book counterpart. Who was supposed to be played by Rosario Dawson at some point, but that casting choice fell through.
Even then, it’s curious if Dawson would be brown enough for audience expectations for the role as well. Given some of the backlash, Zoe Saldana faced portraying Nina Simone and not being black enough for the role. The outcry against Saldana reached to a point where she even felt compelled to apologize for accepting the part.
And here, some were concerned with the current pandemic environment. This user states, “I don’t care if it’s the greatest f***ing superhero movie of all time, one that will forever change the ways I look at movies, comics and life in general. I’m not risking catching a whole-a** disease because: stan marvel comics. You people on some whole other type of s***.”
Others were skeptical of professional critic reviews and wanted to wait what the audience’s feedback was. This twitter user stated as much. “I’ll wait and see what the audience says. Should always take review and ratings with a grain of salt but if you look at Rotten Tomatoes and see critics saying *Thumbs Down Emoji* but the audience is like *Thumbs Up Emoji* then it usually means the movie is good lol”.
The user also states, “If both are saying its trash? F*** it lol”
Still, others chimed in with their honest assessment, without any of the scathing remarks usually associated with online back-and-forth. This twitter user reportedly saw the film and gave their two cents. “I just got out of the theater it’s really not that bad. It’s a bit slow and predictable. Dark Phoenix and apocalypse were wayyyy worst. This one at least tried something different. I’d say its more of a rental.”
Opinions and Rebellion
Now, if we’re talking about in terms of content delivery and overall satisfaction with the plot, characters, story, tone, feel, etc. Then we have to consider subjectivity into Mendelson’s assessment.
He is a professional critic with years of film and industry expertise that gives him a certain take on films that isn’t going to reflect an opinion of what a general audience member might grasp from a film. Just take a look at the differences in most audience scores versus critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s like night and day.
Plus, there’s also X-Men comic book nerds and fans to consider. Folks who have read the Demon Bear Saga by Bill Sienkiewicz. Or those who perused the pages of New Mutants when Rob Liefeld was involved.
Even those who followed them from their inception by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod. Of course, they would have a different view of the film, from their history with the franchise.
As we’re seeing more in film nowadays, there seems to be a widening chasm between what an industry critic thinks about a film versus what general audiences have seen. One writes articles praising or lambasting a movie, while the audience scores it in diametric opposition to their assessment. And that can happen in either box office numbers or counter scores for user reviews.
I think it’s safe to say Williams, and Disney for that matter, might not be concerned with critics’ assessments like Mendelson. They want audience feedback, and more importantly audience wallets.
Ultimately, we’ll see when the box office numbers come back at the conclusion of The New Mutants run in theaters.
But what do you think of Mendelson’s review? What do you think about Maisie Williams turning it around? Sound off in the comments below or let’s talk about it on social media!