directed by Carl Joglar
Today’s market is constantly dominated by cheesy and unimaginative superhero flicks which rarely stray away from the given formula, and change almost nothing besides the main protagonists and antagonists. The hero is always the good guy who fights against evil and ultimately prevails, thanks to his superpowers, while the bad guys are one-sided and chaotically evil. ‘Heroes’ breaks the formula a little bit, and offers a short yet satisfying and rather original twist of this omnipresent set of rules.
The plot revolves around Roland, an office worker who hates his job and is a bit of a slacker. Instead of working, he complains to his colleague Deedee about life, and expresses his wish that a superhero would show up and start getting rid of annoying people in his life. Topping the list would be his boss, Mr Hathaway, who is a bit of a prick and behaves in an unfriendly, superior manner towards everybody. As Roland is sent to copy a stack of documents for his boss, who appears to be in a bit of a hurry, his wish comes true as he discovers an injured ‘superhero’ on a mission to kill Hathaway, as a revenge act for being a dick to his sister, who later was involved in an argument because of the spar. He has to decide whether or not to help this assassin accomplish his plan, but little does he know that his choice would determine the outcome of an event on a much greater scale.
What is remarkable about the plot is that it treats the concept of a superhero differently, alongside two dimensions. Firstly, a superhero always has a special power or ability, but not the vigilante, who simply ‘looks badass’ and has a passionate will to right a wrong. Secondly, superheroes are always regarded as good persons, but as we see later in the film, morality becomes a layered, muddled concept, somewhat tying in with the works of Jeremy Bentham and the philosophy of consequentialism. Altogether, it is a very interesting set of premises.
Unfortunately, while the content is very good, the delivery and technical aspects fall under the sub-mediocre category. The quality of the image is bad, while camera movements are dodgy and unnecessarily shaky, especially in the beginning sequences. Poor audio quality and sound localisation makes some words difficult to comprehend, while the soundtrack’s clarity also leaves much to be desired. The acting is passable, but unnatural: the actors do not feel involved within the story, fail to exhibit a complex range of emotions which certain situations ask for, and are generally unconvincing.
Ultimately, ‘Heroes’ fails to really make an impact and stand out on its own. And this is a real pity, because its idea, though in need of a little polishing itself, is a fresh take that provides many interesting implications. The technical side, as well as the acting, ultimately drag down the quality of the film, and from a potentially remarkable project it turns into an amateurish attempt at doing something different. The effort is laudable, and with a revamp, it could turn into a real success.