RogerBW's Blog

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl 26 July 2016

2016 superhero comedy (miniseries re-presented as film), dir. Chris Marrs Piliero, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart: IMDb

Low-level superheroes Electra Woman and Dyna Girl move to Los Angeles to make the big time. But can they be true to themselves?

"I promise that we will not go on two diverging character journeys, if that's what you're afraid of." ← This woman is lying.

Yeah, it's a thoroughly hackneyed story: the Big Record Company, I mean superhero management agency, turns out not to have the heroes' best interests at heart. Gosh, I hadn't expected that. Electra Woman dives head-first into fame; Dyna Girl is more dubious. And then the Empress of Evil turns up and starts killing people.

But where the script, perhaps deliberately, lacks anything like an original plot, it does have good moment-to-moment fizz; this was made as a series of eleven-minute mini-episodes, which leaves it feeling much more like a double-episode of a TV series, which has to keep people coming back after the commercial breaks, than like a feature film which can afford to slow down from time to time. Some of the breaks are more obvious than others, but within each segment the energy stays up and the jokes don't overstay their welcome.

That's also thanks to the cast, and it's because of Helbig and Hart that I watched this at all. They've clearly put effort into their performances, and while the acting they're called on to do isn't particularly subtle they still get the job done better than quite a lot of the talent in Hollywood. They work well as a double act too. Other cast members are less impressive, generally being one-note stereotypes and/or walk-ons, and even Christopher Coutts as Frank (the tech guy who turns up repeatedly) can't do much with "flattened affect" and "I like food", which seem to be the only bits of character briefing he got. Graeme Duffy as commercial director Jack Hurley does a surprisingly nuanced job of his completely unsubtle role.

Budget is clearly minimal, and there's more talking than doing, but with leads this entertaining (and cheap CGI) that's not as much of a problem as it might be. The film never tries to get Terribly Serious the way many superhero properties do, which given the inherently ridiculous premise I can only regard as a good thing.

Definitely not a classic, but an enjoyable 80 minutes nonetheless. Oh, and female superhero costumes that aren't just an excuse to show off their breasts.

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