Posted on 2/05/12 11:27 PM
I don't generally like reviews that explain the whole movie, because then how can people judge a film from the review without knowing all the key plot points. But in this case I can't write a review without talking about the film, so I decide that if I'm already gonna spoil some things, might as well talk about the whole movie.
I was gonna start this review by calling a tragedy of what happens to three friends after they receive super powers. When they first got their powers, they mostly used it for fun. Everyone was having fun, and all three of them seem happy.
Of coarse like nearly every movie in all of existence, the good times needed to end. One of the friends starts getting more depress, and gets social distant from the other two. Things get worse when an other friend dies, while trying to help the sad friend.
The two remaining friends start become more distant to each other, while the depress one starts using his powers for more sinister purposes. Eventually, considering himself an 'apex predator', the depress friend starts believing he is superior to normal humans.
By the films climax, the two friends fight each other. The 'good' one just wants to help the other one out, while the 'dark' one just wants to be left alone. The 'dark' friend proves to be stronger than the other one, and attacks normal people. Left with nothing else to do, the 'good' friend is forced to kill the 'dark' one, and leaves.
Sounds sad, right? These three guys became really good friends, and everything seemed to go alright. But then one dies, and the other one becomes what we call a super villain. But the ending does leave audiences with some hope, and even some closure.
The remaining friend decides to use his powers to help people and find out how they got their powers in the first place. He leaves behind the camera that they used to film everything, and flies (yes they fly) off, becoming the world's first superhero.
I don't call this a sad fate of what happen to three friends, I saw this as a superhero origin. When all three of these guys got their power, they didn't get morality nor the responsibility that most superheros seem to have. Most people don't get a new sense of responsibility just simply because they get powers.
Some comic superheros, like Superman, where raised with high morals and develop their responsibility as they mature. Others learned from tragedy, like Spider-Man when his Uncle was killed by a robber he could've stopped earlier.
This a tragic superhero origin, but I don't think it's a tragedy. Tragedies usually end with a sad note, or, in Shakespeare case, with everyone dying. This one left off with an optimistic note, even though the ending itself is still sad (The two other friends are still dead). But it still gives audiences hope, and isn't that what superheros do. Give people hope.
But we didn't just see the birth of superhero, in fact he only decided to become a hero by the time the movie ended. We also saw the birth of a super villain, in fact most of the movie is focus on the 'dark' friends descend into darkness. He was the one who had the camera, he was even using it before they got their powers. The camera actually gave audiences a peak of this character's motivation. He was lonely, and the camera was pretty much his only companionship at the beginning of the film (and towards the end).
People who are generally outcasts, especially if you are still in high school, generally either want to be part of everyone else, or just want to be left alone. Most people, including I, will identify with this aspect because we all just want to be accepted.
His eventual path to the dark side is made even sadder by the fact that we actually both identify and sympathies with this character. I use the word dark to describe him because he was never truly evil, he was just a troubled kid.
But the true heart from the film comes from the relationship between the three friends. They gained a bond that seems generally real, they all do act like teenagers. All three actors do a terrific job in their respective roles, you actually feel for these characters.
Not only that, but the characters personalities are similar to students that you probably met while in high school. Steve Montgomery is the smart, popular one, whom everyone seems to love. Matt Garetty is a guy who says random quotes or facts that some smart person probably said much earlier, to make him seem smarter than he really is. And Andrew Detmer is the kid with the abusive father, and the dying mother. (Guess which one becomes 'dark')
The supporting characters do their jobs fine, but the movie mostly focused on the three main characters. This was very character driven movie, there wasn't really any action scenes until the end, but it's very satisfying one.
But that's what I wanted the movie to be, entirely character driven. The final action scene was just an added bonus, but it wasn't something I wanted. The three main characters relationship is what I wanted, seeing them grow from guys who hardly know each other to best friends.
If there is only complaint I have about this movie, it's the special effects. They are simply just not great. But that is small complaint for this movie.
The movie does get sad towards the end, and leaves somethings ambiguous (How did they get their powers?). But I like how it left things off. They left things to audiences interpretations, allowing them to think what happened, and what happens next. I have my imagination to come up with what happen afterwards, and that is what keeps my mind at ease, and closure.