You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alter Egos

Superpowered with silliness, "Alter Egos" is a comedy about second-string heroes, but has a first-rate sense of humor thanks to a wry script by helmer Jordan Galland, making up for what he lacks in visual style with frequently sharp comedic dialogue.

With: Kris Lemche, Brooke Nevin, Joey Kern, John Ventimiglia, Danny Masterson, Christine Evangelista.

Superpowered with silliness, “Alter Egos” is a comedy about second-string heroes, but has a first-rate sense of humor thanks to a wry script by helmer Jordan Galland, making up for what he lacks in visual style with frequently sharp comedic dialogue. The very idea of a low-budget superhero movie is a pretty good gag, but the film is best when it forgets the comicbook stuff and concentrates on its screwy characters, who don’t necessarily need capes and tights to whip up a laugh. Possibilities seem limited, but this is a solid showcase for the talents involved.

Taking a page from “The Incredibles” and “Mystery Men,” this sophomore feature by Galland (2009’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead”) places its beleaguered superheroes in a world where public opinion has turned against them. Their standards have definitely dropped: Unlike Superman, who had multiple Metropolis-sized powers, C-Thru (Joey Kern) has only X-ray vision. His pal, Fridge (Kris Lemche), shoots ice out of his hands, which is of limited use unless you’re a bartender. But at least they’ve met the qualifications of Superhero Corps, a kind of trade-union-in-tights led by the unseen Captain Amazingness.

And in a world where everyone seems to have some kind of unearthly gift, they’re luckier than most. When Fridge arrives in the Hamptons to rendezvous with C-Thru and execute a top-secret Corps assignment, one of the first people he meets is Jimmy the Cop (Danny Masterson) who doesn’t take kindly to superheroes: Jimmy’s gift is being able to turn invisible — but only for 2.3 seconds at a time. His comings and goings are exploited for maximum laughs, but the whole situation has him in a bad mood. It doesn’t help matters when Fridge starts clicking with hotel manager Claudel (Brooke Nevin), with whom the married Jimmy is having an affair.

Fridge, meanwhile, has his own romantic complications: When he isn’t being Fridge, he’s being Brendan, whose girlfriend, Emily (Christine Evangelista), is having her own illicit affair — with Fridge. There’s nothing Brendan/Fridge can do but break up with Emily. She doesn’t quite see it that way.

The combination of superheroes and sitcom is consistently funny. Where “Alter Egos” goes off the rails, ironically, is when it tries to be a comicbook movie: Shrink (John Ventimiglia), the arch-evildoer who killed Fridge’s parents, is locked up in one of Claudel’s hotel rooms, inspiring an extended sequence that lifts a bit from every superhero origin story ever written. It feels as though Galland is killing time, or just giving Ventimiglia something to do.

Tech credits are good, if deliberately low-rent. The Hamptons (apparently used off-season) are underpopulated, the shooting style is anti-blockbuster, and Carisa Kelly’s costumes are inherently cheesy/hilarious. Sean Lennon, who composed the score, does a nice job of infusing a pop sensibility with just a lilt of John Williams, fitting the mixed sensibility of “Alter Egos” to a T.

Alter Egos

Production: A Phase 4 presentation of a Gallard-Velazquez/Attic Light Films/Farah Films production in association with Off Hollywood Pictures and Cloud 9 Film Partners. Produced by Dan Farah, Milan Chakraborty, Carlos Velazquez, Jordan Galland. Executive producers, Ed McWilliams, Doug Weiser. Directed, written by Jordan Galland.

Crew: Camera (color), Chris LaVasseur; editor, Dan Schecter; music, Sean Lennon; music supervisor, Jonathan Leahy; production designer, Lucio Seixas; art director, Matthew Arrow; costume designer, Carisa Kelly; sound, Joshua Hilson; re-recording mixer, Matthew Polis; assistant director, Ryan Dearth; line producers, Milan Chakraborty, Carlos Velazquez; associate producers, Isaac Lefevre, Dearth; casting, Eve Battaglia. Reviewed at Fantasia Film Festival, Montreal, July 24, 2012. Running time: 79 MIN.

Cast: With: Kris Lemche, Brooke Nevin, Joey Kern, John Ventimiglia, Danny Masterson, Christine Evangelista.

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne poses for photographers upon

    Cara Delevingne to be Honored with Hero Award at Trevor Project New York Gala

    The Trevor Project will honor Cara Delevingne with the Hero Award at its upcoming TrevorLIVE New York gala. Delevingne has supported The Trevor Project‘s efforts to end LGBTQ youth suicide rates, in addition to using her platform to speak out about mental health issues, women’s rights and animal conservation. On screen, she has acted in [...]

  • Kristen Stewart'JT LeRoy' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Kristen Stewart: 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot Is 'Woke' but Still 'Funny and Weird'

    “Charlie’s Angels” has made the jump to 2019. Kristen Stewart, who stars in the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot as one of the Angels, says the classic ’70s franchise has been updated to modern times without losing its pulpy action. “At one point I think we said it was woke and grounded, and everyone was like, ‘Wait, [...]

  • Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro Slams Trump Administration at Tribeca Opening Night

    The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened with Roger Ross Williams’ documentary “The Apollo” at the iconic uptown venue which performers and Harlem community members call “home.” “You can feel the history, the echo of the entertainers,” Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro said in a speech before the film. “In this administration, during [...]

  • Lilli Cooper Tootsie

    How the 'Tootsie' Musical Was Updated for the #MeToo Era

    Turning the beloved 1982 comedy “Tootsie” into a 21st century musical already seemed like a challenge when work on the adaptation began back in 2016. Then the #MeToo movement revved up — and the writers knew they couldn’t tell Dorothy’s story for a modern audience without it. “It’s different than it was when the movie [...]

  • Ralph Fiennes attends a special screening

    Ralph Fiennes on Directing Rudolf Nureyev Biopic: 'It's Been a Very, Very Long Road'

    Ralph Fiennes celebrated his latest directorial outing, “The White Crow,” on Monday night in New York City. The Sony Pictures Classics film tells the story of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev. “It’s been a very, very long road. We were mad. We were mad to take on this subject of Rudolf Nureyev. Mad. Completely mad,” Fiennes [...]

  • Taylor Swift Time 100 Performance

    Watch Taylor Swift's Time 100 Gala Performance and Speech

    Just two nights out from Taylor Swift D-day spring 2019 — i.e., Thursday’s release of a new single — Swift made an appearance Tuesday at the Time 100 event in New York, where she did not let loose with any spoiler performances of new music but did sing a few fan favorites, including “Style,” “Delicate,” and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content