A quartet of caped heroes find themselves powerless and forced to play a diabolical game of life and death for the amusement of a nasty villain in this low-budget effort.
There is usually nothing worse than being stuck in a theater with a talker, one of those clueless dorks who thinks that their opinion needs to be heard. They break down into three types:
• The Professor — This motormouth has a little bit of film trivia knocking around their noggin and they think we all want to know what the hidden meaning behind a camera angle is or what catering company supplied the doughnuts for “Citizen Kane.”
• The Doof — This cat is a little slow on the uptake and pesters those around him with questions about what just happened or, worse, sits there narrating what is happening on screen, in case the audience has been directing their attention elsewhere and has missed the events unfolding on the screen.
• The Wisecracker — This smarty-pants thinks the movie is stupid and constantly shouts out instructions for the characters. It is not uncommon to hear a wisecracker point out how stupid the people are acting or how the plot strains credibility.
Normally, I hate all three of these guys, but you need a room full of wisecrackers if you are going to get through this snot sandwich without putting a foot through that beautiful flat screen TV you bought with your tax refund. I was able to get through this mess thanks to my 7- and 12-year-old sons, who could bang out a better screenplay during recess.
The story opens with our four heroes waking up in a strange town. They find out quickly that they have been drugged with a substance that took their powers away but left them with their cheap costumes. The bad guy (Rickshaw) was even nice enough to put a band aid on each them and it appears to have been an “ouchless” one .
They are contacted by Rickshaw on a television monitor and told the plot. They will perform tasks and face villains on a strict schedule, and they must stick to the time allotted for each task or hostages at every station will be blown up. If they try to escape, the whole town will blow up. That’s it. They got the whole plot from the “Saw” flicks. They still blow it.
There is one cool bit here and it involves a villain who effects an Uncle Sam costume and professes to be a devout cannibal. He is kind of creepy and actually appears menacing. Then again, an angry goldfish is more intimidating than the guards who patrol the Rickshaw’s hideout, seeing as they are all dressed in dimestore animal mascot outfits.
This fails because the whole enterprise is shoddily written. The heroes have zero personality and drop more F-bombs than the bad guy. I don’t mind a little salty language, but a hero should at least have some muscle to go along with it and a modicum of smarts, but these dopes are dumber than a sack of tobacco. They seem to specialize in arguing with each other while the clocks runs out and the hostages explode. The one superpower they still possess is the ability to ask incredibly inane questions. Three times I caught them asking a mortally wounded character if they were okay. Sure they are, apart from the gaping wound in their chest or head.
If you must see every superhero movie before “Iron man 3” comes out, then fortify yourself with a group of wisecrackers and have fun. Better yet, turn this into a drinking game and have a slug every time a hero says something stupid or obvious. Be warned, though — you might pass out before the stupid extra scene that is tacked on after the credits and is guaranteed to make you say, “So what!”
Best line: “I’m gonna want to cut your head off, boy. I’m gonna want to eat it. “