The day one above refers to the first day I attended the festival which was itself the sixth day of the festival proper. That make sense? Good!
This documentary seems to fall into a category of films and literature that holds a special place in my heart; the “silly boy adventure” – where an average guy gets it into his head that it’d be fun to do something pretty stupid and then document it. Superhero Me has been touted as “Kick Ass in real life”and has all the right ingredients to be a great film; silly boys, superheros and real life consequences. Unfortunately though it takes a lot more than just the right ingredients to make a good movie and ultimately this film lacks a really key factor; purpose.
Usually in this kind of a scenario the documentor/director/star (as is often the case, Steve Sale assumes the mantle of all three) has a point they want to prove, something to discover and/or an end they want to reach. In this case simply wanting to find out what it would be like to be a superhero just doesn’t feel valid enough a reason for filming a documentary. This in itself wouldn’t be a game ender if we had enough personal involvement with Steve on his journey; there are certain moments later in the film which try to tug on the heartstrings but there’s no real conclusion to drive the message home and thus these attempts at getting the audience emotionally engaged fall flat. I’m assuming that Steve hung up his costume at the behest of his long suffering wife and chose a safer existence than when clad in spandex; but we’re never told this – instead only being offered what happened when the Epsom Christmas Lights were supposed to be turned on.
Without any real agendum, the film barrells along merrily until the ninety minute mark where it just kind of stops and we’re left simply with two major “in depth” findings: that being a superhero is kind of fun and potentially dangerous and, there are some people out there who are already acting like superheroes and have been for quite some time. I could have guessed quite easily at the first conclusion and found out the second with a computer and ten minutes to spare on the internet.
It was a pretty fun watch but ultimately Superhero Me was a mostly hollow experience that felt more like watching a movie that a mate of yours made about something stupid he’d done rather than a serious documentary looking at the effects that superhero culture has had on our social psyche. Having said that (and making myself sound like a right pompous get in the process) I doubt very much that I would have enjoyed the film quite as much if it had been the latter, although in lieu of any real personal involvement or betterment as Superhero Me stood, it probably would have been a better film.