This film was weird, and I’m not entirely sure in a good way. It felt like it was written by people who never spoke to each other about what kind of film they wanted to make. About 30% of it is really good, meta as hell about superhero movies and the recent overabundance of them. But when it’s bad, it’s embarrassingly bad. The good moments make you laugh out loud, but the bad moments make you remember that what you are watching is fundamentally a kids movie; terrible accents and dialogue by “cool” characters, singing and dancing (although there is one song in it which is pretty cool actually), really juvenile humour (I know, childish humour in a kids movie, who’d have thunk it?), and just a general lack of substance. I suppose the is plot okay; the one they actually use anyway. The film goes through about 4 plots they could have used, one of which (when they travel back in time to stop superheroes trauma from happening, thus stopping them from becoming heroes. yet when they travel back to their timeline the world is overrun with supervillains) would have been a MUCH better film, but instead is used for a quick 4-minute sequence which is never referenced again. Usually, films which are adapted from television shows have bigger stories than usuals; ones they couldn’t fit into a standard episode. This film is just 88 minutes long and has A LOT of padding, you could easily condense the plot into a 30-minute episode. It seems like the only reason it’s a feature is because the plot revolves around them wanting a super-hero movie, so thematically it suits a feature-length film better. But whilst the story suits a feature, the way its told does not. I mean, I suppose the feature-length nature of it made it easier to get big names like Nicholas Cage and Stan Lee (and Greg Davies for some reason). And it meant the mid-credits reveal had more weight to it, if that was done in an episode it wouldn’t really be that notable, but it happened in a big event, so it’s talked about.
So that’s enough about the things I didn’t like. What about the good things? When the jokes land, they REALLY land. When it’s funny, it’s very very funny and will make you think it’s one of the funniest films you’ve seen all year, it’s a shame that doesn’t happen often enough though. The animation style has been criticised as being too basic, but to me, it works for the film. It’s aimed at a very young audience, and young people prefer bright colours that pop. It brings to mind spending weekends at home, waking up before everyone else in the house did, and using that time to watch cartoons. But my favourite memory of this film is something that wasn’t intentional; a few days later I was on my way to see another film and was sitting down eating food beforehand. Behind me there was a bloke and his son who had just left the cinema after seeing this. They were sitting there discussing comic book movies, breaking the fourth wall, and the history of British comics. It was such a lovely and touching moment, one of the most adorable things I’ve been witness to. That’s when it hit me; it’s okay if I didn’t love this film, I don’t have to, it’s not for me. It’s not for the cynical and jaded, it’s the cinematic equivalent of bubblegum and aimed at kids, and that’s okay.