Four words: real-life Kick-Ass. Real-life superheroes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are super fit, some are average; some work solo, some work in groups; some are militant, some are happy-go-lucky; but the one thing that they all have in common is a desire to do good. A clinical psychologist says that real-life superheroes aren’t any crazier than normal people. Most people have alter egos; superheroes just have a costume for theirs.
Mr. Extreme is a young, overweight man in San Diego. He lives alone and doesn’t have much of a social life. He states that comic books are his inspiration and he has a dummy in his kitchen on which he demonstrates his awkward fight moves for the audience. On the surface, he doesn’t seem to inspire much more than a giggle.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is a crew of four in Brooklyn: Zimmer, Lucid, Z and TSAF. TSAF is the only girl in the group and she chose her superhero moniker to be a constant reminder of why she is doing this; it stands for The Silenced and Forgotten. They are inspired by Kitty Genovese, a murder victim who was stabbed and raped within sight and sound of her neighbours–and no one helped. This is a militant group who heads out on patrols using one of their members as bait to draw out wrongdoers. Two of the members have troubled pasts and they channel their rage into their activities.
In between are Zetaman and Apocalypse Meow, a husband and wife team from Portland, Master Legend, a minor superhero celebrity in Florida who runs the only registered non-profit superhero organization in the U.S, Thanatos, the sole Canadian superhero who is 62 years old and looks out for the homeless in Vancouver, Devil’s Knight, the leader of a group in Salt Lake City who look like they stepped out of a death metal band, Life, a young hipster superhero from New York City and many more.
At 82 minutes, the film flies by. It is pure entertainment with a little something extra. Real-life superheroes are protesting against the apathy they perceive around them. At the heart of the film is a social and humanistic message: compassion for one’s fellows and a desire to make a difference. As Life states, material things come and go but the feeling from doing good stays with you.
Director: Michael Barnett
Program: World Showcase
Monday, May 2, 9:00 pm, Bloor Cinema
Wednesday, May 4, 4:00 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Sunday, May 8, 7:00 pm, The Royal Cinema
Written by Pauline Dong
A native Torontonian, Pauline enjoys much that the city has to offer, especially in the areas of food and drink. She is also an enthusiastic traveller and explorer of other cultures. A self-described film geek, her interest in movies was first piqued by the early works of Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Wong Kar-Wai. More a fan than a critic, she invites your thoughts on the films in her articles.