Alter Egos (2012)

2014 #30
Jordan Galland | 74 mins* | streaming | 2.35:1 | USA / English | 15 / R

Alter EgosYou might not think superheroes lend themselves to the ultra-low-budget indie treatment, but where there’s a will there’s a way, and clearly writer-director Jordan Galland had a will.

In the world of Alter Egos, superheroes are an everyday thing, blessed with unexciting powers and public disinterest. (Don’t look too closely — this is an indie comedy, not a “what would actually happen?” scenario.) Two of these chaps — Fridge and C-Thru (guess their powers!) — wind up at a quiet out-of-season hotel, where one has captured a wanted supervillain. While they debate what to do, Fridge falls for the hero-hating receptionist. A mix of romantic hijinks and complex backstory exposition ensue.

Anyone after superhero thrills isn’t going to find it here. The fundamentals of the plot wouldn’t be too out of place in a ‘real’ superhero movie, but the indie stylings don’t provide much scope for special effects spectaculars or indulgent action sequences. Equally, fans of the indie comedy genre may find it too silly. It’s a crossover between two niche genres that, rather than transcend such roots, ends up being even more niche — it may fulfil those who are in the area where the superhero/indie-comedy Venn diagram overlaps, but no one else.

Super? Heroes?Personally, I rather liked it. It’s a little cheap, talky, and not laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it has some charm, a healthy-enough dose of professional filmmaking (I’ve seen plenty of efforts that are more amateurish), and a brisk running time that makes for a pleasant diversion. If you think you might find yourself in the sweet spot of the aforementioned diagram, it’s worth a go.

3 out of 5

* The IMDb-listed running time is 80 minutes. That would make the PAL time 77 minutes, which the BBFC confirm. I watched it on Now TV, where it definitely ran 74. Did they PAL-speed-up the PAL-sped-up version? Who knows. ^

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