Table of contents:
- Superheroes in the real world
- A blurred line between good and evil
- Black humor on the verge of thrash
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
The new project will delight both those who adore supermen in colorful tights and those who hate them.
The streaming service Amazon Prime released the first season of Boys. A lot of attention was initially riveted to the shooting, because it has about the same basis as the famous "Preacher": the comic strip by Garth Ennis, and the producers of the film adaptation are Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
But, as it turns out, the new series is important for a very different reason. 2019 can already be safely considered the beginning of an era of change in on-screen superhero stories. Netflix released Umbrella Academy, where the relationship of people with supernormal abilities was revealed more in the form of a family drama. DC Universe delighted with "Doom Patrol" - a touching phantasmagoria about renegade heroes looking for their place in the world.
All this showed the audience fatigue from the typical superhero stories that flooded both cinemas and home screens.
But previous projects still just tried to add vitality and oppose themselves to standard stories from Marvel and DC, so that the viewer sees in the heroes not tough guys in tights, but ordinary people.
And "Boys" literally crush all possible stereotypes from comics, brazenly mocking any clichés.
Superheroes in the real world
The action takes place in a world inhabited by superheroes. They save people from criminals, take selfies with fans and appear on television. But power and power corrupt, and "super" begin to treat ordinary townspeople with contempt and can easily cripple or even kill a bystander if he interfered with their next mission.
So it happened with the girl of the protagonist Huey (Jack Quaid). She entered the road exactly at the moment when Train A, the fastest superhero in the world, was passing by. And soon Huey found Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) - a man who hates all who have superpowers, and even gathered a special team to eliminate them.
From the very beginning it is clear that the plot is more ironic over the superhero theme than follows it. The authors immediately make you think about many things that would not work in the real world. Sometimes it’s physics: it’s impossible to stop the car at full speed, if you run into it - it will just fall apart. But most often - the very idea of the behavior of folk heroes.
They all look like some grotesque version of the Justice League. Homelander is a clear analogue of Superman, Queen Maeve is Wonder Women, Underwater is Aquaman, Train A is Flash.
But, unlike the independent "League" or "Avengers", here they are all part of the huge Vought corporation, which invests money in the promotion of popular favorites, creates an image for them and specially thinks out who is better to send to prevent this or that crime.
And it's better if you two are together - this way you can attract more fans' attention. Of course, reporters are sent to work with the heroes, and after each incident, the company assesses the publicity and popularity.
As a result, superheroes look more like typical stars than saviors of the world. They are arrogant, capricious and think only of themselves, despising both colleagues, and even more so fans. And the new Starlight, so that she gets into this business, is forced to have sex - very much reminiscent of the story of Harvey Weinstein and show business in general.
And it’s much easier to believe in this than in any other noble Captain America. After all, even not the worst people are often spoiled by fame and power. And to this is added impunity, because the corporation is trying with all its might to hush up any incidents.
Vought sells heroes to different states, like soccer players, comes up with touching biographies for them, releases various merchandise and writes speeches that should look personal and emotional.
And here there is already a double irony. Indeed, in recent years, superheroes have become the most profitable brands in cinema. The story is exactly the same with their promotion. It's just that they are fictional here, but in the world of "Boys" they are real.
A blurred line between good and evil
The authors also deal with the main characters and the plot in a rather vital way. The heroes decide to deal with the "supers". But at the same time they do not look like noble knights.
Butcher often uses cruel methods, does not hesitate to lie to his own comrades, and is easily ready to destroy anyone who interferes with him. Of course, he has experienced a loss in the past. But the desire for revenge often resembles an obsession.
His assistants, the Frenchman and Marvin, always squabble among themselves for any reason and without. And even Huey sometimes indulges in rather unseemly actions.
At the same time, superheroes at first seem to be literally a bunch of all human vices. The invisible one spies on the girls in the toilet, the Underwater is constantly complex and therefore commits vile deeds, and in a closed club they all indulge in things against which they publicly speak out.
But Starlight appears among them - a girl who really wants to save people. True, at some moments she has to compromise her principles. But later it turns out that Queen Maeve may not be so bad either. And while trying to kill the heroes, Butcher and his comrades did not even think that they could have relatives and friends.
Among all, there is only one exception - the most powerful superhero Homelander. It can be called the embodiment of all possible complexes and negative traits. But without such a villain, nowhere. He only shows the dark side of the typical Superman - after all, he is as dangerous as useful.
But all the rest perfectly demonstrate the blurred line between good and evil in reality. It seems that the "super" really save people, but at the cost of innocent victims and meanness. It seems that the "boys" want to restore justice, but do not shun low deeds. And here is a rare case for movie comics, when at some moments heroes and villains can switch places.
Unfortunately, by the last episodes, the series still tends to be excessively moralizing: the villains turn out to be completely evil, and the good heroes begin to speak in clichéd phrases.
This is frustrating, first of all, because the "Boys" initially just ridicule all such stereotypes. But the final plot twist will make you forgive all the flaws and wait for the second season, which, by the way, is already being filmed.
Black humor on the verge of thrash
And one more great advantage of "Boys" is that all this is presented in a very harsh form, and even with rude jokes. The "children's" rating of most superhero films has already bored many a lot: even merciless battles are shown on the screens almost bloodlessly.
Here, Butcher swears through the word, thus expressing both joy and anger. Moreover, it is not always possible to make out where the emotion is.
And cruelty is rife here. And this despite the fact that in "Boys" there is not too much action. Some of the fights are very cool. For example, a witty battle with the Invisible, although one of the sides, as you might guess, is not visible. Also, the heroes can sit in the same room for an entire episode, discussing how to finish off a person with impenetrable skin.
But even with this approach, there is enough room for real rivers of blood: for the first time such a thing will be shown literally in the fifth minute of the first episode. Moreover, the scene will be both scary and funny.
This is how the further plot is built. In "Boys" even the tiniest thing is played up with humor: collecting scraps of an exploded person, outbursts of anger leading to death, Oedipus complex, harassment and much more.
In the end, they use a baby with superpowers as a weapon.
It is the combination of lively characters, realities close to our world, and selected black humor that gives an excellent series at the output. It will appeal to geeks who adore superheroes: analogies with popular characters and plots are easily read here.
"Boys" will also please those who are pretty tired of movie comics and swear at their unrealism. Here they are, superheroes in the ordinary world - arrogant stars with a PR team. And here are the simple guys who want to rid the country of them - a bunch of not too nice and not very honest individuals. Such a shake-up was not enough for all on-screen superheroics for many years.