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And this is a funny film. Some of the lines are so perfectly ridiculous or well-timed that it has led some viewers to suspect it's a scripted performance, but assuredly these are real people. And while they may dress oddly, the filmmakers never stoop to mockery for cheap laughs. The entertainment lies in just letting these superheroes be themselves. If you are a fan of the documentary "American Movie" then you are sure to enjoy the same type of genuine human comedy in this film.
The one thing that these superheroes do share in common, though, is that most of them are struggling to overcome hard circumstances. Many had heartbreaking stories of childhood abuse. Zany as their costumes may appear, ultimately these people are victims looking to make sense of a world that hurt them and trying to make it a better place.
This is an excellent and thought-provoking documentary. I highly recommend it.
Master Legend rocks!
I'm not entirely sure what I was supposed to take away from this documentary. Most of the people are well-meaning but many seem mentally ill and may be driven by delusion rather than the greater good. Worth checking out if you can manage to eye-roll your way through some of the interviews.
*Special Stars- The superhero names are confidential to protect themselves, families, and their work.
*Theme- Community service is for everyone.
*Emotion- At first the people behind the costumes seemed very naive and obsessed with the more trivial superhero minutia like capes, costumes and cars. The more you watched you started to see that they genuinely want to make their city better by using their community awareness to help others.
*Based On- Comic Books heroes and Stan Lee of Marvel Comics.
The film is, at times, inspiring and others very funny. One of the funniest moments was Vigilante Spider and his comment about girlfriend (29 minutes into film). Another was seeing Mr. Xtreme getting his butt kicked in a martial arts competition (as apparently he did NOT have superpowers when it came to fighting). And, I also had to laugh about Master Legend--apparently his superpowers needed to be recharged regularly with beer! Although these are very strange folks, provided they DON'T get themselves killed by taking the law into their own hands, they could be very much like the Guardian Angels...in funny costumes. Well worth seeing...and weird.
Many of these folks are interesting -- some being sad, some really making a difference. The group that actively films drug sellers in their neighborhood probably has the best chance of really changing the world.
The strangest is probably Master Legend, who tells us that "when a man works up a whopping thirst" it is Busch that quenches it, "not some Kool-Aid." He claims he was raised by the KKK and forced to fight and has some sort of psychic ability. He likes to tout his battle with a crack smoking child molester...
One police officer asks: Is "bait patrol" entrapment? An excellent question. A crime is a crime, but is it right to coax someone into a crime? Is it right to dress up and hope that someone attacks you for "looking gay" while at the same time acknowledging you look "ridiculous"?
The WATCHMEN Blu-ray set contains a featurette interviewing "real life" superheroes. Mostly these were young men wearing bulky costumes of sewn together sports equipment and pronounced delusions of grandeur; although one interviewee was ex-military and simply patrolled as a concerned citizen in fatigues and a buzz cut. The HBO documentary SUPERHEROES amps this idea into a feature-length spectacle.
Mike Barnett presents a typical day-in-the-life perspective of the non- typical man-in-tights. Or clunky plastic armor. With names, among others, like Mr. Xtreme, Zimmer and, ahem, Master Legend. Although their hearts are in the right place, a food-and-clothing drive conducted and distributed to and for the homeless of San Diego being a very worthy effort, their heads most definitely are not. Barnett shows these heroes as misguided - Mr. Xtreme possess no guide in life other than comicbooks, which he reads obsessively in his van publicity-seeking an unintentionally-hilarious Master Legend drinks and cavorts with college girls in that crime-ridden gotham of Orlando or thrill-seeking the NYC-based Zimmer who patrols dark streets just looking for a head to bash in.
Unfortunately, Barnett's docu never presents a clear viewpoint. Are these losers real and sympathetic, slaves to a worthy ideal? Or are they to be mocked at? Severely. Throughout the film the viewer does both. But they shouldn't. At times, the film appears to be as just as a rambling mess as Mr. Xtreme on patrol: sometimes boring, at times embarrassingly cringe-worthy. Also unfortunately, the preventing of crimes, or exacting flying fists of justice as Zimmer so obviously wants, never occurs. Giant aliens don't attack. There are no criminal masterminds' plans to foil. Not even a simple grab-and-run from the local 7-Eleven. This exacerbates the question running through the whole film: so what?
Hey, if anything, the film invites you to grab a drink with Master Legend. He has a Facebook page.