Mutants (2009)

MutantsReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Michael Ironside, Steven Bauer, Louis Herthum, Tony Senzamici, Sharon Landry, Jessica Heap

Directed by Amir Valinia

Not to be confused with a new French genre film of the same name. That one might actually be worth watching.

When you make a movie called Mutants you better deliver on the mutants. There are no mutants in Mutants. Painting some people up so they look like sickly zombies with a few skin disfigurements does not qualify as a mutant in my book, certainly not mutated enough to justify calling a movie Mutants. There is one teeny tiny scene with something mutated enough to qualify as a mutant and all it’s capable of doing is sitting in a corner doing nothing for its few seconds of screen time.

Take a look at the DVD artwork for Mutants ironically adorned with the tagline “Fear the Truth”. It’s a damn lie! That alien monster face is clearly taken from the artwork for Lionsgate’s 2007 turd Alien Invasion Arizona. Nothing in Mutants even resembles it enough to justify slapping that monstrous image on the cover. North American Pictures should be ashamed of themselves for pulling this crap. I guess I can’t blame them to a certain extent since Mutants is so devoid of entertainment value I suppose they have to do whatever they can to sucker viewers in.

Mutants is not a movie about mutants. Mutants is a movie about people having boring conversations about the substance that causes people to turn into mutants, whether they be the people scheming to manufacture the substance that causes the mutation, the people trying to uncover the truth behind the mutating substance, or the people that already know and are on their way to stop the infection from spreading. These people sit around and blather on in offices and living rooms. They drive to other places so they can stand around and bloviate. Sometimes the accompanying musical score gets ominous to remind us that what’s being said is meant to be intense. Every so often these conversations are broken up by a micro burst of action: a split second fight scene, a low speed car chase, someone on stakeout taking surveillance photographs, people searching a darkened area with a flashlight and not finding anything, or – on very, very, very rare occasions – a so-called mutant appears just long enough to not do anything and then run away.

Book ending the film are wraparound scenes involving Steven Bauer as a nerdy-looking spy reporting via remote transmission to black ops team leader Michael Ironside. Bauer is part of “Operation Stalker”, a special mission dispersing agents around the world to gather intelligence regarding threats against America. Last I checked the basis of this mission is what the CIA already exists to do on a daily basis.

Bauer has uncovered an insidious and potentially world-threatening plot involving a biochemist, a terrorist, and a sugar company working together to create an additive that will make sugar more addictive than cocaine and heroin.

I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t sugar already more addictive than cocaine and heroin combined? Ah, but see, that’s where the twist comes in. Right now our sugar addiction only makes us get fatter and develop diabetes. This new additive will turn ordinary people putting some sugar in their morning coffee into sugar-addicted 28 Days Later-style zombie mutants. At least that’s what the so-called mutants reminded me of for the tiny amounts of screen time towards the end when a few actually try attacking someone.

The plot unfolds via flashback with Bauer explaining how things have gotten to where they are by the third act. When you think about it you realize Bauer’s character exists to explain things to set up flashback scenes where other characters do nothing but explain things.

The climax sees Michael Ironside’s van arriving at the sugar cane factory and he actually gets out to shoot and stab a person or sugar zombie or two. Those few moments of Michael Ironside being all Michael Ironside-y are the only glimmering instances of amusement in an otherwise static movie so boring you’ll need to load up on sugar products to keep yourself awake through.

The very moment the closing credits began to roll I promptly ejected Mutants from my DVD player and tossed the screener DVD in the trash. That North American Pictures even dared to send out advance screeners for this film for review is hard to believe. I cannot fathom anyone watching Mutants and finding anything about it worth recommending. Between the blatantly deceptive artwork that has nothing to do with the movie and daring to send out review screeners of a movie this sorry I begin to wonder if anyone at North American Pictures ever actually bothered to watched Mutants for themself.

1/2 out of 5

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  • Caterpillar

    Michael Ironside now has to work in films like this to pay the bills? That’s just tragic…

    • The Woman In Black

      It is sad, isn’t it? I had to do a double-take when I saw his name listed in the cast.