Also, in an interesting twist, The Hyperions is less a story about superheroes and more about a dysfunctional family with Mandulbaum as its patriarch. His endgame is creating the greatest superhero team to protect the world, and in doing so, he established a family environment for Vista and Ansel. They believe he is their father and treat him as such. When the two manage to disappoint him, he gives up on them, casts them aside, and moves on to new children. Abandonment is just one of the many themes explored.
Another surrounds power granted and taken away. If you’re a child (heck any adult) with superpowers, there’s a sudden jolt of self-confidence that comes with it. These powers make you special and unique compared to your peers. Now take it away, and a giant void is created. This loss of self and confidence is massive, leading to the Hyperion Museum’s storming. There are other spoilery plot points and twists that elevate these ideas.
“…Elwes is a joy…”
What keeps me from giving The Hyperions a glowing review is its overall energy, particularly in the performances across the board. The fact that this low energy is consistent throughout leads me to believe that it’s a creative choice from McDonald and not the actors’ fault. It’s an action film that flies at a respectable level of 6, when it should soar at an 8, 9, or 10… 11, if you will. I don’t mind that the story focused on the family issues of superheroes, but it needs the energy of an action film to give the family drama real stakes.
Looking back, the story of a family of Superheroes is excellent. Add Professor Mandulbaum as a father, who should never be a father, and the exploration of power granted and taken away absolutely works. Still, the overall tone is a disservice to these great ideas. The fix can be done without needing expensive superhero scenes.
In the end, The Hyperions is good, not great… worse, as it has the potential to be great. That said, it’s still a good story once you understand what it is saying. I think the younger set will like the film, presuming the parents can get past some of the salty language and let them watch it. Superhero fans, you’re out of luck on this one.
The Hyperions premieres on the Daily Wire YouTube channel and is available On-Demand.
"…a good story once you understand what it is saying."