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Overall, great film.
23 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Death of a Superhero's" titular character is fifteen years old, and fifteen is a pretty rough age. The body's changing, hormones are overloading the brain, and the once pointless female is miraculously the best thing on the planet. Combine that with school, starting to think about your future, parents, a menial job, and being surrounded by other hormone imbalanced punks, and fifteen is a pretty crappy age. But that's what the average fifteen-year-old boy has to deal with. Adding chemotherapy into the mix is only going to make life all the more unbearable. "Death of a Superhero" is about Donald (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) coping with his life- threatening cancer. Given his low chance of survival, Donald toys with the idea of suicide. He stands in front of trains and teeters on the edges of bridges. To help manage his emotions with his practically imminent demise, Donald draws himself as a superhero battling the evil Dr. Glove. We see animated sequences of Donald's alter ego saving lives and battling evils that parallel the dilemmas in his own life. Donald's parents are torn on how to handle his deeply imbedded depression. Psychiatrists have seemingly been a lost cause, but in one last attempt, Donald's parents hire Dr. Adrian King (Andy Serkis). Dr. King seems to create a balanced relationship with Donald as he stays honest with his situation and acknowledges his anger instead of trying to subdue it. Dr. King is the Dirty Harry of psychiatrists as he's grizzled, blunt, and seems to have a perpetual hangover. Working with a sense of reality, Donald feels comfortable enough to actually open up to Dr. King. "Death of a Superhero" has a nice mentality. It's brutally honest, but there's a fair sense of humor and heart. It's always nice seeing Andy Serkis in his actual skin and Thomas Sangster's performance is nothing short of impressive. The animated sequences show Donald's resentment better than words ever could, and the movie's pacing is fairly quick for what would be expected with this subject matter. This movie's been out for about three days, since I wrote this review, and I'm already hearing comparisons to "50/50." Both are good movies with similar plots, but the themes are radically different.
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