2 July 2012 | napierslogs
The drama of dying of cancer made into a (boring) comic book
In "Death of a Superhero", Donald (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) wants to be a superhero when he grows up. That's not going to happen because Donald is dying of cancer. He's trying to balance his survival/mortality rate with his coming-of-age interest in girls and sex. It's a drama about cancer, comic books, superheros, thanatologists, and teenage boys. It's an interesting mix which results in an odd, quiet, and unfortunately uninteresting film.
On paper it can be compared to "50/50" (2011) but it has a completely different tone and feel which makes it less palpable. It's like "Kick-Ass" (2010) but with less action, more comic book drawings, and less humour. And I mean that as a good thing. I think. This is a very slow-moving film about a depressed teenager who draws out his superhero and superheroine fantasies. I think it would have been easier to take if he really did fall or jump off the bridge that he teetered on the edge of. It started getting more entertaining when he met a girl and she elevated his graffiti to revealing heights. But, as it has a tendency of doing, cancer slowed that down.
Remember the cute and only slightly annoying kid from "Love Actually" (2003) and then remember the knowing laugh of amusement when he appeared as a young Paul McCartney in "Nowhere Boy" (2009)? This is your chance to see him in a very impressive dramatic role. The other stand-out was Andy Serkis as the thanatologist hired by Donald's parents to help him and themselves deal with his impending death. For all intents and purposes, let's call him a therapist. It's the usual character which all of these types of movies have, but there was something more here which I can't quite put my finger on which grabs your attention and then makes you bookmark his IMDb page.
The drawings were insanely impressive; unfortunately, I'm not one for comic book stylings. "Death of a Superhero" is certainly a good film that I appreciated, but I can't say I liked it.