DVD Review: All Superheroes Must Die

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC DVD Review: All Superheroes Must Die

“Currently cringing at All Superheroes Must Die. It sucks. ‘What’s going on?’ ‘He’s screwed. He’s gonna die soon.’ Worst acting/dialogue.”

This was my Twitter summary of my feelings whilst watching All Superheroes Must Die last night. I admit, it’s not particularly eloquent or amusing, but hey – this is Twitter.

This morning, in an unexpected twist, I awoke to find that my 135 character review had been retweeted, by none other than the film’s writer, director and star Jason Trost.

I initially felt a little guilty about this. I’m not exactly influential on Twitter (48 followers, woo!) and so my tweet was just intended as throwaway comment expressing my frustrations at watching a terrible movie. I never meant for anyone involved in the film to actually read it. Poor guy – I’d feel horrendously depressed if I knew people out there thought my creative output sucked (thanks BWRC, for not having a comments section).

Then I looked at his twitter feed. It comprised of quite a few other RT’s of negative reviews. One particularly unimpressed gentlemen referred to the film as “ass juice”. It also comprised of a lot of Mr Trost trying to dodge the bullet. He blamed studios for altering his cinematic baby to make profit. He blamed the internet for making films more homogenized. My favourite was when he said – and I quote – “And when something original arrives, so does the blind hatred of the internet.”

Oh Jason. I feel sorry for you, I really do. But the internet doesn’t hate All Superheroes Must Die because it’s “original”. It hates it because it’s really, really bad.

The basic premise is a sort of Saw / Kickass combination, in which four everyman style superheroes are pit against a series of no-win challenges by their nemesis Rickshaw (James Remar – the only decent actor).

Essentially, the film fails for the following reasons:

  • The script seems to have been created from a mash-up of clichéd superhero lines and a sixth-form Drama Studies play. At one point the characters walk into a room in which three coffins are propped against a wall, their names written on each one. They pause dramatically. The audience wonders what they will do. Shadow (Sophie Merkley) turns to the camera. “Guys, these coffins have our names on them.” Oh dear.
  • There are some brief attempts at delving into the characters’ psyches, but they quickly fall flat. Trost’s character Charge is the “leader” and not much else. Cutthroat (Lucas Till) is the resentful side-kick who finally reveals a supposedly-shocking but actually super obvious confession that he was in fact just jealous of Charge all along. Shadow has no discernible personality at all. Neither does The Wall (Lee Valmassy).
  •  It’s boring. Watching the characters move from sequence to sequence is like watching a bunch of annoying teenagers play a board game. Except people die. But even that is boring.
  • It doesn’t make any sense. If they have previously always managed to defeat their nemesis Rickshaw why is he so good at screwing them over now? Why did Cutthroat try to put out a fuse by hitting it with a chain, instead of just cutting it or pulling it out?
  • The ending. I won’t tell you what happens, in case you do ever watch it (don’t). But suffice to say it is both dull and ridiculous.

I do pity Jason Trost, not just because this film has so many problems, but because it seems like it could have been good. The idea of pitting a group of superheroes in a no-win scenario, forcing them to question their moral code and exacerbating their tense relationships, is a potentially interesting one. It didn’t even necessarily need to be made on a bigger budget (All Superheroes Must Die had an almost infamously tiny one). It just needed to be done well.

The internet does favour originality, Mr Trost, but only when it results in something entertaining, interesting and thought-provoking. This movie, unfortunately, ticks none of those boxes.

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