In Which A Critic Desperately Tries To Hide The Fact They Haven’t Seen “The New Mutants”

“Film publications such as The A.V. Club, The Boston Globe, and RogerEbert.com will not review Disney’s ‘The New Mutants’ this week after the studio did not make screening links available or offer socially-distanced press screenings to film critics.” 

Film Publications Refuse to Review ‘New Mutants’ Until Disney Offers Safe Screening Options, IndieWire, 08/25/20

At long last, some fresh mutants on the scene. Check your Wolverines at the door, ladies and gentlemen: These new mutants are new, and they’re mutants, and they’re not afraid to tell you so. 

And neither am I! Some of my fellow critics balked at the idea of waltzing into a movie theater during a pandemic in order to enjoy the cinematic stylings of the guy who directed The Fault in Our Stars, but not me. When my editor informed me that I was to spend an afternoon sharing in the communal experience of celebrating the art of film, I didn’t even consider getting on the phone to my solicitor to put my affairs in order and ensure that my children would be taken care of in the event of my passing. 

In fact, I would like to take this opportunity, and approximately 20% of my contractually obligated word count, to praise Disney for its bold decision to forget for exactly one (1) release the existence of its massively popular streaming platform. Who doesn’t miss the sweet embrace of movie theater air conditioning, the power of that massive enclosed space to take our potentially diseased breath and turn it cold? Could you imagine a finer last meal than buttered popcorn? And what about the siren call of the employee chasing you down because you missed one of the temperature checkpoints? 

You may be wondering how I can so vividly capture the moviegoing experience. Well, it’s because I was just there, last weekend, watching The New Mutants, which I will now discuss, using the knowledge of it I gleaned from the time I watched it, in theaters, the way Walt Disney and God intended. 

But first, why not discuss the film’s embattled journey to its premiere, a journey I for one was happy to see end at my local AMC, a business as robust as the waiver they had me sign upon purchasing my tickets? The film completed production in 2017, but its release date was pushed back no less than three times, making my seeing it as unlikely a scenario as a novel coronavirus disrupting every aspect of the life and society we hold dear. That is to say, highly likely.

Let’s not spend too much time dwelling on the past, though. I want to talk about The New Mutants, and that’s what I’m here to do. You know, it’s hard to say no to your boss in an era of historic instability for jobs in general and media jobs in particular, and I’m glad I didn’t, because he gave me the chance to fully experience all 94 minutes of this movie, rather than roughly ten collective minutes of three years’ worth of trailers. I think we can all agree that in this moment of national crisis, what matters the most to the American public is knowing what Arya Stark is like as a mutant. 

So let’s discuss The New Mutants, Disney’s latest addition to the X-Men franchise, boasting a budget of $100 million, distribution by 20th Century Studios, and a 600-word-review by me, a hero who is willing to put their lungs on the line to bring you the latest industry scoop.

It’s fine. 

[Ed. note: See me.] 

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