Thursday, January 31, 2013

All Superheroes Must Die

Like Steven C. Miller, (so-called) writer/director of some of the worst films I’ve ever seen (SilentNight, Automaton Transfusion), I don’t understand why people keep giving money to (so-called) writer/director/actor Jason Trost to make travesties he calls movies. His last flick, The FP, was about gangs who fought over turf by playing Dance Dance Revolution. Yes, you read that right... Dance Dance Revolution. I could only watch about 30 minutes of it before I had to turn it off for fear that my brain would liquefy. Apparently it was a hit (especially at SXSW Film Festival) and gained a cult following which led to Trost getting funding for his latest attempt at filmmaking, once known as Vs., but later being renamed All Superheroes Must Die.

Charge (Jason Trost), Cutthroat (Lucas Till), Shadow (Sophie Merkley) and The Wall (Lee Valmassy) are a group of superheroes who realize that their powers have been taken away by their arch-nemesis Rickshaw (James Remar). He wants them to see how it feels to lose and forces them to participate in a series of tasks where they will be on the receiving end of all the punishment they normally dish out.

I won’t mince words… this flick is a heaping pile of steaming horse shit.
Jason Trost has no clue how to write characters or stories that make a lick of sense, and he adds salt to his opened wounds by always playing the lead in his wretched projects. He is a horrible actor who is incapable of showing even a glimmer of personality. It’s as if Uwe Boll and Megan Fox had a love child who is talentless in every respect. His movies feel like overlong (even at 75 minutes) fan films filled with stupid ideas and horrible characters.

Here he has written his version of a comic book movie where all the protagonists are the most useless and unlikable group of superheroes ever committed to HD. I can’t imagine that even with their powers (Charge is super strong, Cutthroat is super fast, Shadow can become invisible and The Wall is invulnerable) they’d be much use to society. All they do is bicker, whine and show virtually zero empathy when they allow innocent people to die. At one point one of the heroes kills a number of civilians in cold blood just because he wants to live. How is an audience supposed to sympathize with a superhero that is also a self-centered murderer?! His dialogue is insipid, his plot is overly melodramatic and at times certain events resemble an After School Special (the flashback scenes in particular). There’s an awkward love triangle going on that is mentioned once, hinted at in a flashback and never brought up ever again. It actually would have explained a rivalry between two of the heroes but it is never fully explored. That’s the way this whole movie is structured: Idea introduced, idea dropped for no reason other than to let the director become the focus of the scene as his character. It’s frustrating, but this movie is bad in every respect so I shouldn’t have been expecting much. And what irks me the most is how he blatantly rips off Kick-Ass in that the characters have some of the filthiest mouths this side of a dive bar and that there’s buckets of blood and guts dumped everywhere. If he was trying for realism he failed miserably. No one talks like that… ever!
The acting is abysmal from everyone, including James Remar as the villain. He seems to be playing the Sham-Wow Guy more than a villain. He feels like he’s acting in a whole other movie entirely since he comes off as more of a joke than a threatening menace to society. All the leads are their own particular brand of horrible; Trost is unengaging, Till (who played Havok in X-Men: First Class) seems bored and impatient, Merkley acts like she’s in a high school play and is emotionless regardless of the fact that her character is supposed to be the emotional core of the group and Valmassy sleepwalks through his part as The Wall… literally. Only Sean Whalen seems to be enjoying his part as side-villain Manpower, but his costume is completely ridiculous and makes no sense. What does the name “Manpower” have to do with an Uncle Sam costume on stilts? Dumb.

The craptastic acting can only be attributed to Trost’s wretched script and inane direction. He can’t even direct himself capably! Every aspect is ass from the lame costumes to the cheap ass sets. For example: the entrance to a junkyard looks like the fence in front of someone’s home with a large sheet of plywood placed in front of it with “Al’s Junk Yard” spray painted across the front. The cinematography is dark and murky due to Trost choosing to film exteriors with only the street lights providing illumination. The interiors are decorated in bland and silly ways (curtains are obviously hiding objects that aren’t meant to be caught on film like paintings or furniture) and the basic lighting doesn’t help matters. Even the costumes are a joke unto themselves.
And the crown jewel to this dung sandwich is the insulting and ridiculous finale. There is a bomb that is going to explode and take out a good number of city blocks (the timer is a microwave) and our main hero is hurt and cannot muster the strength to escape. One of the other heroes comes to his rescue with three minutes left and they HAVE A SLOW AND DELIBERATE FUCKING CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY LOVE EACH OTHER!!! WTF?! And what’s worse is that when said injured hero takes down his nemesis he does it so easily, and with no superpowers mind you, that it makes me think that he and the others in his group are the most incompetent vigilantes around since they couldn’t even manage to do it with all their fancy abilities intact. Lame ass shit!

The only clever addition to this face raping was a bit of costuming. Trost has a bum eye and normally wears a patch over it, as in The FP. To cover it his costume was designed to look like someone tore open one side of his spandex face mask so that his good eye is showing and the bad one is still hidden. Nice, but that’s all I have to say that’s positive about this garbage.
Atrociously unlikable characters, a stupendously asinine plot and some of the worst writing I’ve seen since Battlefield: Earth, All Superheroes Must Die is one massively colossal waste of time and money on the part of everyone involved including the audience and is one of the worst films I have ever seen. The only thing that must die is Jason Trost’s career. I’d rather watch one of Asylum’s shitfests (Titanic II, Transmorphers, Snakes on a Train) than one of his godawful endeavors at filmmaking ever again.

0 out of 5

p.s. There is a post-credits scene that sets up a possible sequel which leaves me sad that the Mayans were wrong about the end of the world.

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