24 June 2001 | The Extra In The Background
An interesting little film
Before the review, a brief plot summary: The Marshalls are an average family in an ordinary American town with it's own superheroes, Bronze Eagle, Warrior Woman, and Silver Charge. What most people don't know is that Jim Marshall, his wife Judy, and their eldest son Adam are the town's heroes. Their young daughter Molly also has super-powers, mainly laser vision, but thirteen-year old Scott is nearing his fourteenth birthday, after which one cannot recieve superpowers. However, so as to not disapoint Dad (and their visitng grandpa, Steel Condor), he tricks the family into thinking he can fly and has superstrength. Meanwhile, the seemingly innocent "Earth Protectors" which are giving out CDs about the enviroment to the kids in Scott's class, may not have all the world's best intentions in mind.
This film does sound silly and childish. Granted, it's not supposed to entertain adults or recieve an Oscar nomination. But it's really fairly original, showing us all superheroes' weakness: alluminum foil, which alters their structure. The special effects aren't that bad, but the filmmakers respect that and don't exagurate on them.
The cast, while slightly forgettable (except for Sherman Hemsley of "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons") aren't that bad at acting. It's not exactly a riveting potrayl, but it's satisfying. Derek Lee is irritating, but his part is small and not enough to ruin it. Michael J. Pagan does a nice job as Scott Marshall, who is dubbed Warrior Eagle by his parents and does a dorky job at rescuing a woman from a fire. Kevin Conolly was also interesting as the young criminal genious who uses "Earth Protectors" to control minds, against the will of Amy (Jamie Renee Smith), who wants to use the mind control to prevent waste and preserve the enviroment.
Superhero fans might want to watch it for the fun references, i.e. Sherman Hemsley's character Steel Condor's grudge against Superman, Man of Steel, The Green Hornet visiting the Marshalls, etc. In fact, Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman cameo at Scott's birthday party!
Your kids will like it. Don't expect "Batman" or "Robocop", but if you're in the mood for some nice, doesn't-take-itself-seriously entertainment, you might wanna give it a shot, too.