Speculative Fiction Saturday: American Hero

American HeroI was planning on reviewing a big blockbuster that I will probably review next week, but I found this film on Netflix and I decided to check it out. I’m not certain why I reviewed it, but it must be the month to review mediocre films that have “American” in the title.

I honestly don’t know what to think of this film. I mean, it is a superhero film, but we really have a lot of those from Marvel and DC, but sometimes you just want to watch something that isn’t tied into a franchise, right? Or are we past that point.

American Hero is an independent film that has an unoriginal tagline of “from zero to superhero”. I’ve heard that “zero to hero” thing a bit too much in films like Hercules, the Disney version, which is also at its heart a superhero story.

The film stars Stephen Dorff as a man who has extraordinary powers named Melvin Hesper. He lives in a poor part of L.A., and for some reason, no one seems to care about his powers.

Now, I am willing to suspend my disbelief about his telekinetic powers, but what I can’t understand is why he isn’t in the spotlight. I’m pretty certain that if anyone did have these abilities and could easily prove it, he would become an instant celebrity, at least on the Internet.

Instead, Melvin hangs around all day doing nothing, getting high, and occasionally doing street tricks of levitation. You think that he would be trying to at least get into show business, but society seems to just ignore this man’s amazing abilties. I’m not certain if the film is trying to say that we would ignore some guy who could have supernatural powers, if he was impoverished.

The film shows Melvin having the ability to strip apart a car in seconds with his powers. I just don’t think that people would tolerate someone who had powers like this. Also, if Melvin gets high all the time, wouldn’t he be using his powers quite irresponsibly? Like wrecking stuff? There is no way the public would be so tolerant of someone so amazing!

I feel like I am missing the point, and this film has some kind of documentary format going on. Maybe within this world’s universe, this was going to be some breaking film to put Melvin in the spotlight.

At some point, Melvin realizes that he has been given a great gift so he’s got to use it responsibly. So he becomes a superhero, and in the end…this one is one that I don’t want to spoil. Maybe you might like it.

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