Michael Hall’s Lost Hero is just lost
To be honest my feelings on the film are a bit mixed. The concept is pretty solid. Magnificent Man and his former Arch Nemesis, Vincent King, meet up for a drink at the bar. Their story is told through flashbacks that range from super cheesy, to cheesy but clearly intentionally cheesy and therefore kind of funny. But their present time conversation is one of overwrought, emotional twaddle.
Tom Knutson, who plays the aged and cancer ridden Vincent King, is a bit of an over actor. But like I said the film is intentionally campy in the 60’s Batman television show style, so it’s hard to know what is bad acting and what is just playing to the films style. The same can be said of the immortal Magnificent Man, played by Andrew Langton.
I want to like this film, but I just don’t. It goes from overly emotional reminiscence to über-campy and nonsensical. The film’s tagline “It’s not the villainy you prevent, but the good you inspire,” is clearly its controlling idea. Which is a good line to center on, if you’re going for a gritty dark telling of antiquated heroism, but the way the film shifts back and forth from serious to ridiculous you simply can’t take it seriously.
I’m a big fan of the old Adam West Batman show. I used to watch it all the time when it was on reruns. One great thing about that show was that it was intentionally campy; it knew it wasn’t a serious show. Case in point: Burgess Meridith’s excellent portrayal of the Penguin. There’s no hint of Mickey from Rocky in that performance nor should there be, he was a comic character being played in a comic way.
But Lost Hero shifts its characters to polar opposites making it impossible for you to emotionally connect with the characters. And no amount of heroism can save it from the depths of apathetic viewers.
Holy mediocre story telling, Batman. These guys just don’t know how to bring in an audience.