Review: Superheroes (TBC) / Directed by: Michael Barnett / Starring: Mr. Xtreme, Zimmer, Master Legend, Life, Apocalypse Meow / Release date: (TBC)
It’s dark, it’s late and your loved ones are asleep. Can you doze off? No. The city needs you. Crime, corruption and danger remain unchecked. You pull on your outfit, finishing with the mask. It feels so good, doesn’t it? Stepping out of your front door, you are no longer a mere citizen - you are a superhero!
Surely everyone has dreamed of being a superhero at some point? Most of us, however, don’t actually do it. Superheroes is a documentary that follows a few of America’s real heroes as they go about their daily routines. We meet Master Legend, one of the longest serving superheroes. He is well-known in the area, but relies on perhaps a few too many beers to feed his super-thirst when on his rounds. There is Mr. Xtreme, who is in the process of moving out - to live in his van. This is so that he doesn’t put any of his family at risk. He is also currently the only member of the ‘Xtreme Justice League’. We meet a group of superheroes in Brooklyn who ‘bait’ criminals - a dangerous and legally awkward past-time.
It would be, of course, very easy to produce a documentary that simply makes fun of these individuals. To a certain extent, Superheroes does. Thankfully, however, there is more to it.
The focus shifts slightly in the second half to the various things that these superheroes actually achieve - which is far more than simply fighting crime. They go out of their way to speak to the homeless, and hand out packs which include water, socks, sanitiser and other useful items. They work on community ventures, and use their superhero personas to help publicise these acts. Real good is achieved, and the world is certainly a better place for all their hard work.
It also becomes clear throughout the film that nearly every superhero involved has, at some point, been a victim or deeply affected by violent crime. This isn’t just a game, but a serious reaction to life-changing events.
While I have no desire to dress as a superhero, I did leave the cinema wanting to do a little more good in the world. That, surely, is a sign that some of the passion of Mr. Xtreme and his cohorts is successfully carried through the film. Don’t worry about the mask, just make the world a better place.
Expected rating: 6 out of 10