Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Superheroes (2011)-Movie Review

*originally posted at Practical Black Belt

Superheroes (2011) is a documentary about the Real Life Superheroes movement.  It interviews and follows several of these would be crime fighters around.  I had previously written about the concept without seeing the movie.  I didn't think it was a good idea then and I really do not think it is a good idea after seeing the film.  We had comments on the previous article talking about how a lot of these people are just doing out reach or how they take their training seriously and use caution.  I did not get that from the film, but maybe the movie was biased in that direction.
I think the guys in Brooklyn were probably the best trained, but they also took up the most risk.  Master Legend might have been the least trained, but Mr. Xtreme was very poorly trained and looked like he was far more likely to take risks that would put himself in danger.  Master Legend seemed to be more interested in flirting and getting his drink on while promoting his charity.  Though back at his "lair," the liquid courage was kicking in and we got to see his weapons and hear about how he was unafraid to use them.
While I applaud the outreach to the homeless, I still think it is potentially dangerous to be parading around in costumes.  If you break up a fight out of costume, most people will not remember exactly what you look like.  The costume, of course, removes all doubt.   You have successfully painted a spotlight on yourself.  One episode in the documentary shows Dark Guardian confronting a drug dealer in the park.  Thankfully it didn't get violent right then, but you can be sure that word went out about a person in a costume hindering business.  If sales decline, the dealer or his friends/suppliers may take action. 
I will take back my statement in the previous article about all of these people needing to seek mental health treatment.  Some of them seem as normal as you and I.  Several come to mind that could be considered a danger to themselves, though.  These people should not be encouraged.  I will stick by my other original suggestions though.  I will also add one.  If it becomes obvious in your training that you have little or no athletic talent, especially in martial arts, please stick to outreach and charity work.   Oh, one more.  If you you wear a mask, you should get punched while wearing that mask so that you can make alteration and add padding to avoid additional injury caused by the mask itself.
The film does bring up great points about the way we allow violence to be done to others because we are scared or because it is the job of the police.  I agree that this an alarming trend.  To those of you would be crime fighters, I ask this question, "How does having a superhero compell average citizen's to act?"  It doesn't.  I imagine in the DC universe, most people that see a crime assume that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, or any of the other hundreds/thousands of superheroes will take care of it.  I think it is in human nature to want to pass the buck especially when not passing the buck conflicts with our self preservation impulse.
So, Real Life Superheroes, keep up the good work on outreach programs.  I hope more of you follow Zimmer's example and get EMT training.  Stay out of harms way.  While some of you are deluded there are a good number of you that are just willing to put yourselves in danger to try and help others.  I can respect that.


The Angry Lurker said...

I'm intrigued by the story, I had totally missed this!

Pat Tillett said...

That's pretty interesting, but WAY over the top... Somebody is gonna get hurt!

Nick said...

Interesting post. I'd never have watched this and now I won't have to. Real life superheroes is a bad bad idea.