Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: Black Lightning

How do you say “With great power comes great responsibility,” in Russian? Because that’s about the only thing this movie misses in its retelling of the Spider-Man origin (more the Spidey movie than the comic book, though of course they’re similar).

Imagine Peter Parker is a Russian college student named Dmitry Maykov. He has loving parents (Aunt May and Uncle Ben), a little sister (well, that’s different, anyway), and a rich buddy (Harry Osborn). There’s an evil industrialist (Norman Osborn), a mugger who’s destined to play a big part in the plot (the burglar), and a scientific discovery that changes Dmitry’s life. No, he doesn’t get bitten by a radioactive spider. He winds up with a car that used to belong to some Russian scientists. And, oh yeah, thanks to the “nanocatalyst” installed in it, the car flies. So what does young Dmitry do with his flying car, after he’s tried to make a fast buck for himself with it? He becomes a mysterious crimefighter, of course, and is dubbed “Black Lightning” by the media.

Snarky comments aside, BLACK LIGHTNING is a well-made, pretty entertaining film. The same people who made the Angelina Jolie/Morgan Freeman actioner WANTED, which I sort of liked despite its silliness, are behind this one. The special effects are pretty good, there’s plenty of action, and the Russian actors (I don’t know who any of them are, of course) do a fine job, especially the one playing Dmitry. The whole thing’s in Russian, so you have to read the subtitles, but I turn on the subtitles on everything we watch anyway, so I’m used to that. There’s one huge lapse in logic in the plot that’s annoying, but this isn’t the sort of movie you watch for the plot. Overall, I liked BLACK LIGHTNING. Even though the main character doesn’t have any super-powers, it fits solidly in the superhero action film genre and is worth watching.


Todd Mason said...

Those guys made their first big splash over here with the import of NIGHTWATCH, and its sequel DAYWATCH, both of which I liked a lot better than WANTED (for me it wasn't the silliness so much as the self-righteous sneering), but I'll bet this one is more fun (particularly for Spidey fanatics like my friend Brian Arnold) than their first US film (which WANTED was).

George said...

I watch EVERYTHING with the captions turned on. Part of it is me (aging ears), but a big part of it is the poor sound on TV and in current movies. Characters talk on top of each other and others mumble (Keifer Sutherland in 24 did this all the time!). Drove me mad!