CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Documentary
  • 2011

Superheroes

Superheroes

Synopsis

A group of real people throughout America don superhero costumes in the hope of fighting crime and doing good. This HBO documentary from director Mike Barnett aims to tell their story.

About

Superheroes are real. Sort of. In the shadows and after dark, regular American citizens are standing up to fight crime and defend the innocent. And they do so in full superhero regalia; masks, costumes, custom-made insignia, utility belts and wacky homemade inventions. Mike Barnetts documentary is a colourful portrait of this group of well-intentioned people whose vaguely fetishistic outfits belie brave  if bizarre  intentions.

Focusing on a select group of individuals (with allusions to an underbelly of similarly-minded folk) the film sways from impartial documentary to loving tribute, with several comic-strip animated sequences and epic orchestration to boot.

Mr Xtreme, of San Diego, helps the citys homeless throngs while hunting a serial sexual predator. He stands in stark contrast to the eccentric Master Legend, notable for his alcoholism and lecherous escapades. Most engaging are Zimmer (an openly gay vigilante) and The New York Initiative who patrol the Big Apple looking to protect civilians but also to (controversially) bait criminals into committing crimes.

The heroes are given ample opportunity to offer their own thoughts but, to keep a fair balance, interviews are included with a psychiatrist and police chief who offer insight into their antics. What the psychiatrist views as a quirky and productive expression of social unrest, the police chief see as a potential violation of civil rights and affront to legal bureaucracy. Both viewpoints are presented as valid, although it should be noted that the film is slightly more sympathetic towards its subjects than it is probing of the potential pitfalls.

In a nutshell

Biased but fun, Mike Barnett's sympathy towards his subjects lends itself to a goofy, funny and terribly uplifting call to arms.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Woman In Black 2

    The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death

    The spectral 'woman in black' feeds off the loss and trauma of Second World War evacuees in this gothic sequel from director Tom Harper (The Scouting Book For Boys)

  • Film4 Men In Black 3

    Men In Black 3

    Agent J (Will Smith) travels back to the 1960s to stop an alien from assassinating a young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and changing the course of history

  • Film4 Muppet Christmas Carol

    Boxing Day 2014 on Film4

    Film4's lineup on Boxing Day 2014

  • Film4 In Fear

    In Fear on Film4

    Alice Englert and Iain De Caestecker star as a new couple driving through Ireland who become lost and the target of a mystery tormentor

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share