There was a brief shining period when the Irredeemable and Incorruptible series were some of the most exciting things going on in superhero comics. Forget the umpteenth death and resurrection of Batman, Batgirl, Superman or Spiderman, here was a Superman gone mad and a supervillain gone heroic.
It was a big concept and they had no idea what to do with it.
If Superman goes evil and he has no easy kryptonite solution, how do you stop him? You don’t. So the Plutonian runs wild wiping out the planet while the superheroes stupidly sabotage each other. Q-Bit saves the Plutonian from being killed once and then saves him when he’s banished to an alien insane asylum and brings him back to earth for more devastation. Finally after earth is on the brink of destruction, Q-Bit convinces the Plutonian somehow to help save the planet and he dies in the process.
The ending spoiler is just too embarrassing to be worth spoiling.
For a while Incorruptible’s Max Damage looked like the better series, but Max Damage had nowhere to really go, just like the Plutonian had nowhere to go. The Plutonian was an aimless villain with nothing to do but destroy. Max Damage was an aimless hero with no idea how to be a hero. And the writing went to all the predictable places, something about Nazi gangs, more so than not.
But it’s the end of Incorruptible that is truly ridiculous. Not only does it turn into an Oprah special with Max Damage dealing with his feelings, but Max Damage flashes back on the time he used a device that takes away powers to fight the Plutonian hand to hand. It’s a nostalgic memory, which is insane because for the entire series the world has been trying desperately to stop the Plutonian at the cost of wiping out the entire planet.
After all that Irredeemable’s ending was the really irredeemable thing.
Spielberg can ladle on all the filters and uplifting music this production can stand and it’s obvious even from the trailer how terrible Daniel Day Lewis is.
The voice is the first thing that most people notice. Yes Lincoln’s voice was not orator-quality, but it wasn’t the contemporary bland, “I’m Not British, but I Totally Am” accent that Daniel Day Lewis is doing that’s the equivalent of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Atlantic accent. His voice was reportedly high and reedy with a backwoods accent, which Lewis’s is not. And Lincoln managed to capture the audience, Daniel Day Lewis just sits there in 50 pounds of makeup looking like he stepped into the Uncanny Lincoln Valley and never came out again.
Maybe there’s some moment where his performance comes alive, but here it looks as dully as dishwater. This is shameless Oscar bait loosely timed for an election when people are engaged with politics and searching for a purity of inspiration. It continues Spielberg’s downward trend and may finally end the myth that Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor. Like Christian Bale, he cultivates intensity in mannered performances that have no soul or truth to them. Lincoln will make obvious what everyone knew all along.
A remake of Mikey and Nicki might not have been a bad idea and that’s what Stand Up Guys, the new movie starring Christopher Walken in the Peter Falk role and Al Pacino in the John Cassavetes part looks like. Except it also looks like it was crossed with The Bucket List and some shades of Al Pacino’s roles in Scent of a Woman and Carlito’s Way. The trailer gives away what Mikey and Nicky slowly painfully led up to and turns it into another story about a con or ex-con experiencing all that life has to offer before the end.
Will Stand Up Guys at least have the guts to do the kind of ending that The Last Detail went with? The trailer certainly doesn’t make you feel that.
Stand Up Guys has some similarities to The Last Detail, but it seems mired in sentimentality, a sentimentality that has as much to do with the careers of Pacino and Walker as with the characters that they play.