All Superheroes Must Die Blu-ray Review
ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE is a title spawned from a mind of a marketing genius. It has everything to immediately titillate the senses of the most targeted media consumers of the last decade. Utter the word “superheroes,” and right away at least 75% of the $1 billion THE AVENGERS audience turns their collective masked heads. Add in the word “die,” and now you’ve struck a nerve with the anti-hero, Dark Horse, watches KICK-ASS and prays nightly to a shrine of Mark Millar clan. Now that your astute aptitude for attention grabbing has worked its magic and all but assured anyone that even hears a whisper of your film’s title will immediately YouTube the trailer, what will you show them?
Unfortunately it’s a film whose original title was VS.
Actor, writer and director Jason Trost (THE FP) is sort of a cult hero figure within a quirky segment of an already secluded genre. In short, the guy makes indie films and one of them got some recognition back in 2011. However, it seems that while Trost has been able to attract some recognizable talent, he has not been able to climb to the next rung in terms of storytelling. The price of alluring a mass amount of eyeballs to your body of work is like a pro athlete signing a big time contract that not everybody truly believes is well deserved. The proverbial “bar” is now in a constant state of accession, and only a CHASING AMY or a THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS will be enough to get you over it and allow for even the slightest tolerance of mediocrity. With THE FP Trost created a parody of 8 MILE meets THE WARRIORS, utilizing a fatal form of “Dance, Dance Revolution” in place of rap battles and gang violence, and at its bare minimum the film was very amusing. For his follow up feature, VS (later renamed ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE), Trost has wandered off the path that brought him acclaim. The superheroes in this film are not the only ones with a split identity. It’s never certain whether Trost was trying to continue his tongue-in-cheek style with ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE, or if he was actually attempting a serious dark narrative involving costumed vigilantes. Regrettably, the film fails to achieve either status, ending up in a limbo where instead shrouding its flaws in layers of irony and eccentrics, it showcases them and brings to the forefront all shortcomings of a low-budget production.
The performances in ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE are at least an uptick from Trost’s previous work in THE FP. Consummate character actor James Remar (DEXTER) is back for his second “Trost” film, but rather than a cameo off-screen narration in THE FP, he is now the main antagonist Rickshaw, who sets up a series of SAW-like challenges for the drugged and powerless heroes to complete or suffer the destruction of the entire town. Another familiar face to the now all-powerful “geek” demographic is Lucas Till (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) as Cutthroat, somewhat of a sidekick to Trost’s Charge, whose relationship has degraded throughout the years. Till does what he can with the subpar dialogue and even Trost himself manages to squeeze the most out of his own crude writing. However, no brush is thick enough to paint a silver lining capable of salvaging this script. The shallowness of the characters is only equaled by the eternal depth of the plot holes, and the production as a whole comes off as a group of film students who got their hands on a “RED” camera for filming and knew someone who could get them a discount at The Sports Authority for wardrobe.
Whether Jason Trost had a serious message to convey in ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE or if he was simply attempting another caricature of a popular genre, is a conundrum only he can explain. Sadly though, like the result of the film’s open-ended conclusion, it’s an answer few will care to learn.
Video: 2.35:1 Widescreen, 1080p/AVC MPEG-4. The overall picture is clear and sharp, but there is zero depth. Most of the film feels like you’re watching a bad reality show, even for reality show standards. Obvious filters are slathered on in flashback scenes with little care for processing, and the film pretty much bounces around in contrast throughout the entire cut.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The sound is no savior to this disc either. The lack of recording equipment is evident as the background decibel is null and void. The characters feel like they are talking in a vacuum with the occasional sound effects that enters into the mix with the subtly of a high school play. And not that it was worth hearing, but the dialogue was also muffled during low registers.
Bonus Features: None : This is actually a “plus” for this disc, enabling you to hit the eject button on this film as soon as the closing credits begin.