This amnesiac dudes-in-dumb-costumes actioner is a movie even hardcore comic book geeks would call a misstep....
Image / 78 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: January 29, 2013
Even for viewers with a deep tolerance for comic book movies might have a tough time getting through the lo-fi dramatic THUD that is All Superheroes Must Die. Theoretically designed as a Cube- or Saw-ified thinkpiece riffing off of the subgenre (only without much thought put into it), this thankfully short affair is a straight-to-video nightmare, a movie that wears out its welcome almost by the time its opening credits end.
The shtick of All Superheroes Must Die lies exclusive in its setup – its delivery is uneven, to say the least. As the film begins, we meet four people in elaborate and dumb-looking costumes, which means that we’re to believe that they’re not simple humans, but indeed superheroes. The catch is, though, that each has an injury on her/his wrist that has zapped them of their unique superhuman powers.
As it happens, there’s a bad guy on the loose – a fellow by the name of Rickshaw (James Remar) – who, in classic antagonist style, has decided that simply murdering this quartet of folks dressed like Jackson 5 backup dancers would be too easy: he wants them to savor the taste of their defeat, Khan-style (“From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee…” was all I could think). Will our heroes shake off their amnesia – did I mention they all can’t remember what their respective powers are? – and show Rickshaw who’s boss, or is their cause at an end?
It’s hard to care all that much. Our four main stars here give the material a fair shot – Cutthroat (Lucas Till), The Wall (Lee Valmassy), Charge (director Jason Trost), and Shadow (Sophie Merkley) do their damndest to elevate All Superheroes Must Die above its low-rent dramatic trappings, but Trost’s behind-the-camera activity sabotages this. Playing like a post-millennial TBS movie on the air after midnight on a Saturday, All Superheroes Must Die is a burp of a picture, one that wants to have something to say about this currently popular genre but never gets to the point.