Superhero in spite of himself

Superhero in spite of himself
Original title:Super-héros malgré lui
Director: Philippe Lacheau
Running time:82 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Cedric, a struggling apprentice actor, finally gets his first role in a superhero movie. One night, while borrowing the filming car, he is the victim of an accident that makes him lose his memory. When he wakes up, dressed in his vigilante costume and in the middle of the film's props, he is convinced that he has become the film's character with a dangerous mission to accomplish. But not everyone is a hero and even less a superhero... And even less Cedric.

Mulder's Review

"We decided to parody Batman to preserve a certain logic since Bruce Wayne has no superpowers, and relies on gadgets and the mastery of combat techniques. This made it more fun, but it was also in line with what we like most about making movies: making our childhood dreams come true. Writing a screenplay is like waving a magic wand: everything you write comes to life! It was great to experience that while shooting the scenes with our fake vigilante Badman, and to be a big kid having fun playing superheroes, even in a parody!" - Philippe Lacheau

This year's How I Became a Superhero showed that it was possible to make a convincing French superhero film with a fully committed director, an effective cast and, above all, special effects that easily kept up with French blockbusters. Initially intended for a cinema release (we had the chance to discover it at the American Film Festival of Deauville last year), this film was finally released on Netflix to our great dismay as it deserved a cinema release. 

Philippe Lacheau's new film seems to follow in the footsteps of Douglas Attal's film while moving towards a mix between action film, French-style comedy and post-Kick-ass superhero film (the end credits easily confirm this inspiration with a music sticking to the end credits of the two Kick-ass films). In the same way, it is interesting to see the numerous references to the Batman universe but also to the Avengers, Spider-man and even to Stan Lee.  Once again the director, co-writer and actor Philippe Lacheau finds the right approach to offer us a film that is as much a parody of the invincible American superheroes as a skilfully orchestrated action film while keeping intact the sense of comedy of Fifi's gang. The result is a comedy as irresistible as Alice Dufour's screen presence.

Cedric (Philippe Lacheau) is a comedian who has difficulty breaking into the movie business and who has only known success thanks to a publicity stunt that was hardly in his favor. When the producer of a French superhero movie called Badman offers him the lead role following the untimely death of the actor who was to play the character, luck finally seems to turn in Cedric's favor. However, one night when he has a car accident, Cedric gets amnesia and when he regains consciousness, he thinks that Badman is really him and that he has a mission to accomplish. Despite the gadgets of his costume, Cedric will have to face a gangster and regain the respect of his father, the police commissioner. He will be able to count on his sister Éléonore (Elodie Fontant) and his two best friends Adam (Tarek Boudali) and Seb (Julien Arruti). 

After two films co-directed with Nicolas Benamou Babysitting 1&2 (2014, 2015), Philippe Lacheau was able to really refine his direction and stay true to the razor-sharp humor of the Fifi gang whether with the comedy (2017) or his film adaptation of Nicky Larson et le parfum de Cupidon (2018). His fifth most successful film to date shows a real maturity as well to give life to a film that manages to make us laugh repeatedly but also to pastiche many superhero movies while keeping the same spirit. Cut out like a comic book with its numerous scenes mixing humor and scenes of chases or fights, everything sounds right here and shows a real commitment of the director Philippe Lacheau to deliver again a successful comedy.

It's impossible not to see in the making of this film a will to find the efficiency of the American action cinema and especially a fast cutting and some shots worthy of the big blockbusters. Of course, the financial means are not the same, but the director and actor Philippe Lacheau succeeds in delivering an immersive film in which we follow with pleasure the character of Cedric in his adventures as a Badman worthy of kick-ass and Batman in which the superheroes do not have super powers but fight to enforce the law. Philippe Lacheau does not hesitate to scratch the French film industry and make fun of those actors who have an oversized ego and seem to live outside the real world.

Despite its short length, Superheroes Despite has solid foundations and avoids, like many films, superficial and useless scenes. From the very first minutes, the setting is set and the film finds its rhythm while making a few allusions to the cinematographic saga American Pie, notably to the character of Jeanine Stifler. Philippe Lacheau thus seems to be the worthy heir of the universe of the ZAZ trio (the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams) and also, in a way, of the comedies of the 80's by Francis Veber in which the direction and the scenarios were inspired and the casting perfect. Superhero in spite of himself is definitely one of the must-see movies of 2022 and we can only advise you to discover it in theaters from February 2nd. We will be glad to see it again when it is released in theaters.

Superhero in spite of himself
Directed by Philippe Lacheau
Produced by David Gauquié, Julien Deris, Philippe Lacheau, Pierre Dudan 
Written by Julien Arruti, Pierre Dudan, Philippe Lacheau and Pierre Lacheau
Starring Philippe Lacheau, Élodie Fontan, Tarek Boudali , Julien Arruti , Jean-Hugues Anglade , Alice Dufour , Brahim Bouhlel , Paco Boisson , Chantal Ladesou , Tony Saint Laurent , Georges Corraface , Régis Laspalès :, Amr Waked , Philippe Beglia, Rayane Bensetti, Philippe Katerine, Bruno Lochet, Gérard Chaillou, Michel Crémadès
Music by Maxime Desprez and Michaël Tordjman
Cinematography : Vincent Richard
Storyboard : Eric Gandois
Edited by Marc David
Production companies : Vincent Richard
Distributed by Studiocanal (France)
Release date : February 2, 2022 (France)
Running time : 82 minutes

Seen on December 10, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 4 seat A19

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