What They Say:
When a sinister organization threatens to wipe out all superhuman powers, the fate of the world is on the line. With two hours until the collapse of civilization, Deku, Bakugo, and Todoroki manage to work as a team, but there’s still one problem. Deku’s on the run for murder.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Though I may have been tiring of the superhero genre these past several years, after having the theaters closed for more than a year I have to admit it was kind of nice to return to cinemas and enjoy outings by Marvel and DC again! I also don’t know whether the superhero movies we got this year were of better quality or if I just got enough of a break from the genre that I could appreciate them again, but whatever the reason I even started having genuine fun with them again. I suppose it is that same feeling on why I enjoyed “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” more than I might have otherwise; because after not spending any time with these characters for a long time, it was great to see them in action again (even if the adventure itself was a little on the lackluster side).
The story for these movies has never been particularly important. Based on a long-running series, “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” is the third big-screen installment to come from the franchise. As such it delivers a story that is self-contained for newcomers, not especially important to the main series as a whole, and is otherwise disposable despite how much fun you’re going to have watching it. Though it certainly helps if you’re familiar with Deku and his superpowered friends, the main protagonist is newcomer Rody Soul, a street-talking smart aleck who takes on various shady jobs in order to put food on the table for him and his younger siblings. Right off the bat you know he’s not an evil person, he’s just someone who is doing what he needs to do in order to survive in a world that has mercifully tossed his family aside.
It’s almost by chance that he should become the traveling partner of Deku, who breaks up a shady deal Rudy is taking part of only to discover that he is suddenly a wanted criminal for assumingly killing thirteen people. Yes, the film DOES explain why this is the case…that said, filmgoers who think more critically of it might conclude that the setup is convoluted and contrived. Those filmgoers would be right: Everything about “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” happens with poor explanations and the most convenient of conveniences. This is not a movie that’s concerned so much with the screenplay or characters and uses events as a means to shove said characters into grandiose situations with lots of action and explosions. Fans of ‘My Hero Academia’ tune into the show every week for fun action sequences on a TV budget; you can bet that if they’re paying for it in theaters they are expecting it to be as big and loud as possible.
For those people they will be getting their money’s worth with “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission,” which – on an action scale – bounces around much more than the first film (but not quite as much as the second). Fight sequences are stunning to behold on the big screen as a chase sequence involving a train puts the famous runaway train scene from “Spider-Man 2” to shame! When the movie is running, it’s running at warp speed. When it slows down to explain things the whole thing drags. Though I do appreciate that the filmmakers wanted to try and put some heart into the film, it doesn’t really work that well. Rudy is certainly a likable enough lead, but without a useful superpower (or “quirk” as they’re called in this universe) he’s become one of those odd protagonists who drive the story forward without really having much to do with anything that’s truly important.
For that matter, the main antagonist is certainly this series most interesting one in concept: A cult leader who feels superheroes are demons of some sort and wants to rid the world of them and have it return to a powerless time. Though I haven’t seen ALL of the TV series, I’ve seen a good chunk of it, and it kind of amazes me that they are always fighting villains with powers of their own. Wouldn’t it be interesting to face someone who actually wants to kill people with powers and have the balance of the universe restored? On the other hand, I’m not sure why I’m putting this much thought into the concept, seeing as how the movie itself ends up doing (story-wise) the most uninteresting thing with it at the end of the day.
As I wrap up this review, I’m looking over it and starting to realize I may be sending a mixed message. It might sound like a negative review, but I am ultimately recommending it if you are a fan of the series. I mean, it’s so much fun how could I not?! The reason this review might make it seem like I’m all sour grapes is because it’s one thing to watch the movie and be thrilled with the action. Describing these scenes is akin to ranking a roller coaster you just rode on a 1-to-10 scale for how much thrills it delivered. On that end, I’d say this movie is a 7 on the thrills scale. On the story though…I’m not going to lie, while it’s not the worst screenplay in the world, this is one of those cases where the story gets in the way of what is really working with the movie. When the action is flying high “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” is great fun! When there’s talking and story development to be done…well, that’s a good time to get your popcorn refilled.