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Super-Being

Critic:

Patrick Foley

|

Posted on:

30 Jun 2022

Film Reviews
Super-Being
Directed by:
Spencer Anderson
Written by:
Spencer Anderson, Jamie Brown, Dale Dandridge
Starring:
Zachary Coleman, Juke Hardy, Issie McGregor
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Now before you roll your eyes, no, Super-Being is not the newest, lazily-named entry into the MCU. Spencer Anderson’s short does involve superpowers, but is much more focused on exploring questions of morality and breaking down its complex character than blowing up major world monuments or delivering snarky putdowns.

 

As an unknown man (Guillaume Rivard) is about to meet his death on a beach in 2027, Anton (Zachary Coleman) reminisces about his life and how his supernatural powers entangled him in a deadly conspiracy. He reflects on his relationships with his mother (Nikki Budday), his mentor Tomaez (Juke Hardy) and his girlfriend (Issie McGregor) and how they shaped his life – as he comes to understand that the impact of his powers, and his own morality, are intrinsically linked.

 

Super-Being is rewarded for its lofty ambition and creative filmmaking by producing a striking and modern superhero story that manages to outperform its many big-budget contemporaries. Director Spencer Anderson immerses audiences into Anton’s tragic life, making this film’s protagonist a developed and complex human character – despite his abilities. His relation to his own superpowers is dictated and crafted by the events in his life, and act as a metaphor for his own morality and its development throughout the film. Despite its sci-fi nature, the film is restrained in its usage of these powers – making their emergence deliberate and filled with impact.

 

This impact is assisted greatly by impressive visual effects and clever direction which results in dynamic and believable visuals which add to the immersion rather than breaking it. The colours of the film are suitably gloomy and grey – though the cinematography still manages to be dynamic and engrossing. Anderson cleverly drags the audience closer to Anton in his moments of isolation – imposing his struggles on the viewer with heavy empathy. His world opens up when others manage to come close – with an implicit hint that positive influences in his life are the answer to his battle with right and wrong.

 

The biggest problem the film really faces is lacking the time to really develop its secondary characters. The depth of Anton’s character reflects somewhat negatively on the rest of the cast, who never really feel as developed as its star. Subsequently, their actions and motives feel less understandable – particularly those of his father figure Tomaez. The film’s ambitious and grand-scale plot is certainly a net positive, but given the short runtime, it does leave these characters feeling a little rushed, where a little extra time spent with them would go a long way.

 

A special note is deserved for the immersive and hypnotic score, the ambient sounds of which brilliantly set the film’s tone and puppeteer the audience to the creator’s whims. Music plays no small role in creating the ethereal and mystic quality, whilst still allowing for space to heighten tension and create a sense of danger and intensity.

 

Super-Being manages to conjure real emotion and intrigue in a super-hero genre that is over-saturated with films many times its budget that fail to come close to matching its achievements. A little more time spent developing its plot and wider cast would have provided a more complete feature, but its exploration of its protagonist, as well as its creativity, make it refreshing and memorable.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film, World Cinema