Fearless Frank is a genuinely odd early work by Philip Kaufman, featuring an early performance by Jon Voight as a flawed superhero. It attempts to recreate the feel and atmosphere of a comic book, particularly in its first half. Ultimately, it is a mixed bag that will have difficulty appealing either to children or to fans of experimental film.
If you watch only the first half hour, Fearless Frank appears to be intended as a children's film. The characters seem straight out of a Dick Tracy comic, complete with bizarrely disfigured criminals. There is a definite camp element to this section of the film, with comic narration provided by a mysterious, and melodramatic, on screen narrator with a typewriter. Similarly, a scientist's patented evil detector gives the proceedings the feel of a sixties children's matinée. Only the plot line, which revolves around a young farm boy resurrected from the dead to become a superhero suggests anything
However, the film gets increasingly odd as it goes along. A clone of the hero is introduced, and the plot shifts from a straight superhero story to one of a character corrupted by success. From here the film becomes increasingly surreal and inaccessible. In the end, it becomes more of a film for Kaufman completists than a film one would watch for enjoyment.
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