YouTube personalities turn superheroes in Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, an action comedy vehicle for online celebrities Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart. Not that we should really be encouraging the proliferation of YouTube fools pulling stupid faces and doing stupid voices outside of Snapchat or the ‘Tube, but Hollywood could do far worse than looking to the genuinely talented Helbig and Hart for its leading ladies.
A reboot of the 1970s cult TV series, the popular YouTubers play powerless but plucky superheroes Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, thrust into the big leagues when they’re picked up by a big bucks superhero franchising brand and its sinister publicist, and given fancy new outfits, gear and energy drinks to plug. Inevitably, this sudden career boost causes tension between the fame-hungry, immature Electra Woman and the more cautious, reserved Dyna Girl. A dramatic breakup is on the cards – and just in time for the rise of (actually superpowered) supervillain the Empress of Evil, no less.
The story is incredibly light and not deep, hitting all of the major notes one might expect, including the obligatory Batman & Robin team split and inevitable sidekick kidnap. So far, so predictable. But a plot twist few expected: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl is actually very funny. What could so easily have been packed to the hilt with Deadpool level smirk and snark thankfully has the good sense to rein it in a bit, letting the humour come from the characters rather than just sheer quippery (although there is still lots of quippery), like 2001’s much-loved The Tick sitcom. Helbig and Hart have awesome chemistry and strong comic instincts, and the movie serves them both well – it’s the best Booster Gold and Blue Beetle buddy comedy film DC never made.
There are inevitably a few gags that don’t quite stick the landing – particularly the too-long Uber bit; the most egregious product placement in a film since Adam Sandler’s Subway love – but, by and large, it’s laugh out loud funny (the final fight is particularly hilarious) and a lot of fun. Yes, even the Snapchat jokes. A kooky, lightweight charm, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl is a surprising, charming delight.
ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: CHRIS MARRS POLIERO / STARRING: HANNAH HART, GRACE HELBIG, TREVOR LERNER, MATREYA FEDOR, CHRISTOPHER COUTTS / RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH