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Film review: The Black Lightning

Friday, 19 February, 2010

I am a sucker for the current generation of superhero movies. The generation who imposed meaning upon the various struggles and permutations of mutants, super humans and the like are now making the movies. These movies tend to be about something, merely using the cliches of the genre to drive the point, and deriving dramatic possibilities previous generations would assiduously avoid.

In retrospect, it should have been obvious modern fare featuring empowered heroes and villains would spawn new properties and characters. Less obvious would have been fully modern interpretations of superheroes which have a point of view produced in other cultures. Had you laid this out for me and asked who would have the audacity to produce such picture?

Movie-mad India? Genre-bending Korea? Passionate Mexico? Japan?

I don’t always remember this nation’s cinema, which does not reflect well upon me.

This is the first Russian superhero. Period.

Fundamentally, it is nothing new. Every element is recycled from other works in the genre. If you can get through that you’ll have a good time. And yet.

It is so well crafted. Everything adds up. The point is driven home with an appropriate iron fist. Elements are here which do not translate well and implications which shall be lost on most Western viewers. Indeed, I find myself wondering just how much I missed.

It’s a good yarn, too.

I’m already writing the sequel in my head. Just because I want to see it.

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