A super-hero yarn of questionable heroism is the subject of my latest review on dvdsnapshot.com. Check it out, why don't you?
Maco, a young man orphaned after his parents and surviving younger brother were brutally attacked, lives a solitary life as a nightclub security guard. One day, he intervenes in a violent robbery, rescuing a television reporter who later reports on her masked hero. Hearing of this new superhero, Maco's institutionalized brother's mental health improves. Encouraged by this improvement, Maco takes on the secret life of the superhero known as Mirageman.
Mirageman reminds one of nothing so much as an old 1970s TV show, particularly the live action Spider-man complete with montages of standing and striking poses in between beating bad-guys to "bow chicka wow" music. Cheesy and off-kilter, this is a Chilean superhero origin story filled with stagy martial arts and telegraphed plot points, it features the story of a crime victim who's withdrawn into learning martial arts in order to, one would assume, compensate for that event in his life.
Complete with a Lois Lane-like girl reporter he repeatedly saves from crime and a withdrawn little brother who needs inspiring, this is a pretty basic superhero “origin” arc. He saves her from criminals and sees that her report helps his brother start to emerge from his shell. There begins the birth of a hero. Fighting purse-snatchers and child-grabbers, Mirageman becomes a folk hero.
There’s an awkward tone that comes from this which really keeps the whole film off-kilter and stilted. There's some tongue-in-cheek moments involving costumes then reality to some of the physical repercussions of combat. The other problem is it's just not that engaging. The fights are either painfully choreographed or these are some polite and patient "wait yer turn"-type criminals. The lead is an amazingly fit fighter but humorless; nearly a cypher. His brooding blankness conflicts with humorous “Magazine cover” montages and the comic-relief “Pseudo-Robin” character. The visuals want to be inspired one moment but wind up dull the next. Also for a martial arts film, the pacing is glacial in places. Towards the end, this for the most part "light" film gets a little heavy on the gunplay and one VERY non-heroic bit of knife-play, which are always a point of contention for superheroes.
It’s a fun enough B-movie, but there’s not much “there” there. However, if made 20 years ago, it would have totally starred Dolph Lundgren...
The disc includes trailers for Ong Bak 2: The Beginning, Not Quite Hollywood, The Canyon, and the HDNET television network. There is also a three minute "Behind the Scenes of Mirageman" featurette, focusing on fight-scene choreography. Audio is available in both 5.1 and 2.0 Original Spanish or English Dubbed Dolby and Subtitles in both English and "English Narrative," which seems to only translate Spanish text shown in the film but not the dialogue . The film itself is 86 minutes and presented in a Widescreen format.
Mirageman is a predictable comic book movie that seems less dynamic than an actual comic book would. It’s fairly harmless for teens on up and does have humor ready-made for a night with the guys. You’ll just be wishing this superhero was more inspired by his “origin story” and more inspiring in his first film.