The Hyperions (2022)

I Weep For Cinema Mar 11, 2022

A movie that was shot three years ago, and struggled to find distribution thanks to a worldwide shutdown seems like it was doomed right out of the gate. Thankfully, it did find a home on an up and coming streaming site willing to give movies that Hollywood wants nothing to do with, and I couldn’t have been more interested in this movie just on that alone.

The Hyperions is about a man with a family, that man named Ruckus Mandulbaum is a scientist and he learns how to crack into a person’s DNA and develop a superpower that only they are able to use, thanks to a button on an arm bracer. He finds a child with the perfect set of passion and selflessness that will be a great blueprint, and imbues them with a specially tailored super power to help the world. He adopts them and creates essentially the world’s first superhero team/family unit, which is reminiscent of something like The Powerpuff Girls.

What sets this movie apart from the others is that while yes it is ostensibly about superheroes, it isn’t a superhero movie. Underneath the surface of the glossy sheen of powerful characters, it is about family and how nobody is perfect. Everyone has flaws and being willing to swallow your pride and say “I’m sorry” solves so many issues that crop up that cause massive rifts with the ones we love. No one can hurt like family, and no one can love like family.

Without spoiling too much of the movie, the movie primarily takes place in a museum dedicated to this superhero family, and at the center of it is a heist. But the movie switches back and forth between the present and the past, and thanks to the help of some absolutely beautiful hand drawn animation, it is easy to recognize when the movie switches time periods. It also helps because of the astounding art direction and style of the film. Every glossy retro infused 1960’s and 70’s british invasion really helps sell the illusion of being transported back in time. For a period piece, this is up there with the greats at really setting a tone that works throughout the entire running time. The professor's eagle companion/telephone along with the color scheme and art style has a deep influence on the marionette starred show, The Thunderbirds.

While the film does dip in and out of several references and styles without much warning, and the live action blended with animation style of Roger Rabbit at times never recognizes it, the film is having fun and the director really shows that he is making his movie that seamlessly uses inspiration from many sources. The Disney inspired “Wonderful World Of Color” TV show letting Professor Mandulbaum teach us how The Hyperions were created just like Walt Disney did showing the world how he was creating Disneyland, or the very Sword In The Stone style of lettering in the opening credits, complete with a Snow White sun glistening shot is just a few examples where this movie just drips with personality. There really isn’t a movie like this being made today.

The Hyperions movie is one single person’s vision, brought to life with the help of a lot of people, the acting is believable, as Carry Elwes steals every scene he is in, and the action scenes are both interesting and the visual effects are used in such an interesting way, that is is encouraging to be able to see that “yes, real fights are not the glamorous''. This is not a Marvel movie, nor should it feel like one. That formula has been beaten into the ground and I for one am sick of it, and have been for years. Same with the “Dark and Gritty” tones of DC movies that have an identity crisis and swap actors of major roles like a pair of socks. This is something new and different, it’s unlike anything else out there at the moment, and the unified vision of a single person doing the Directing, Editing, and even prop making really shows off the passion for the story being told. This is what I wanted to do as a kid growing up. When I say I want to direct, I mean I want to be in every part of the movie making business. We don’t need movies with a 500 million dollar budget, not everything has to be shot in front of a green screen. It’s ok to just tell a finely crafted story and not push an agenda… Movies can just be entertainment or art, and only entertainment or art.

If you want to watch something unique, if you want to watch something no one else is doing in the movie space right now, here is the perfect opportunity to sit down, relax and take your mind off the constant bombardment of everyone saying the sky is falling and be entertained by a movie unlike anything else. It’s fun, it’s lite, it’s funny and it’s entertaining.

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