Villains Inc. Image

Villains Inc.

By Bobby LePire | March 27, 2024

Villains Inc. has three credited writers. There’s director Jeremy Warner, Jason Gray, and Matt Moen. The comedy is about three hench-people whose super-powered boss is killed, and they must navigate life outside of serving an evil overlord. That’s an ambitious elevator pitch for an independent production. Is this a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, or do the filmmakers rise to the occasion?

Beatrix (Mallory Everton), Cain (Jason Gray), and Harold (Colin Mochrie) have been henching together for quite some time. But they accidentally kill their latest boss, Winter General, just before he finally was going to take out Captain Justice (Trey Warner). Now, the hench-people are wayward but, more importantly, are strapped for cash. To make ends meet, Beatrix decides to go to supervillain tryouts. If she succeeds, there’s a cash prize. If she fails, she dies.

Meanwhile, Cain and Harold take Alex (Billy Mann) under their wing after semi-rescuing him from Megadeath (Matthew Meese). Not that Alex would realize that, as his Stockholm Syndrome runs high. However, Alex is a wannabe inventor, and his project could give Beatrix, Cain, and Harold a means to make money.

“…the hench-people are wayward but, more importantly, are strapped for cash.”

Villains Inc. is a charming little movie, but it does feel like one too many at once. Is it a comedic slice-of-life of friends feeling adrift after losing their jobs? Is it about three friends trying to bring their shared dream to life? Is it a parody of superhero tropes? Is it about a world where superpowers are a human right? Is it a send-up of consumerism and corporations controlling people? Is it about a bright but foolhardy young inventor finding his place? The picture hits on all these topics, though the only ones thoroughly explored are the consumerism angle and the friendship between Beatrix, Cain, and Harold. Even then, the corporate bit arrives comparatively late, but it is handled quite well and humorously.

What truly elevates the narrative are the comedic gems scattered throughout, brought to life by the talented cast. This is one of those features where the individual sequences shine brighter than the overarching plot. The central trio’s hilarious debates over the “Killer Pet Company” and its potential use to eliminate the pets’ owners is a prime example. While this idea is revisited a few times, it doesn’t drive the narrative. Alex’s various quirks provide comedic relief, with his abandonment issues leading to a running gag. The world-building may be questionable, but the way the company head plays both sides is a brilliantly amusing touch.

However, what truly solidifies Villains Inc. as a worthwhile watch is the exceptional cast. Everton’s comedic prowess is on full display and guarantees hearty laughs. Her unexpected depth in handling dramatic scenes is a pleasant surprise. Mochrie’s physical comedy skills remain as sharp as ever, leaving the audience in stitches when he’s under control. Gray’s role as the anchor, slightly more headstrong than Harold and more nervous than Beatrix, holds the trio together. Their chemistry is palpable and is the title’s strongest selling point.

While Villains Inc. is overstuffed with ideas and story threads, it’s a fun and funny ride that’s worth your time. The cast, led by the ever-capable Everton, is a shining example of comedic talent. Each actor’s impeccable timing and seamless interaction with one another make for a delightful viewing experience. It’s a film you can enjoy in the background, looking up for the best moments and only half paying attention to the rest.

For more information, visit the official Villains Inc. site.

Villains Inc. (2024)

Directed: Jeremy Warner

Written: Jeremy Warner, Jason Gray, Matt Moen

Starring: Mallory Everton, Colin Mochrie, Jason Gray, Billy Mann, Trey Warner, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Villains Inc. Image

"…a fun and funny ride..."

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