How I became a superhero on Netflix: an ambitious but unfinished move [critique]

By adapting the eponymous novel by Gérald Bronner, Douglas Attal has fun disrupting the myth of superheroes via an offbeat cultural appropriation.

For his first feature film, Douglas Attal tackles Marvel and others, but has the intelligence not to do it head-on, arguably preferring mastery of the field, and it doesn’t work out so badly. The action takes place in the near future where superpowers are trivialized. Two cops (Pio Marmaï and Vimala Pons) investigate a drug that provides drugs to those who are naturally lacking. Spontaneously, the subject of the film does not really breathe originality except that the story takes place in Paris and that these superheroes are played by Benoît Poelvoorde and Leïla Bekhti. Even if we sometimes feel the actors lost in their tight suits and if some twists are quite predictable, the humor referenced by How I became a superhero and his assumed franchouillard side peering towards Superdupont and Hero Corp are the good surprises of the film. This is also its limit. Because to play well with the codes, it is preferable to manage to bring a little touch to oneself, at the risk of breaking open doors and getting lost in déjà vu. A shame when you make a super-film, made in France. This is why if we can salute the gesture, the ambition, the fact that the author knows the subject inside out, we are a little unsatisfied. No doubt because in the expression “French superhero film”, the word “French” ends up taking precedence over everything else.

How I became a superhero by Douglas Attal – With Pio Marmai, Benoît Poelvoorde, Leïla Bekhti, Swann Arlaud … – Duration 1h37 – Available on Netflix since July 9, 2021

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