Melvin, a reluctant Superhero, lives only for crime, women and drugs - until he realises that the only way he will ever get to see his estranged son is to go straight and fulfil his potential as a crime fighter.
Directed by: Nick Love
. Starring: Stephen Dorff
, Eddie Griffin
, Bill Billions
, Jonathan Billions
, Andrea Cohen
, Luis Da Silva Jr.
, Keena Ferguson
, Raeden Greer
, Yohance Myles
, Tim J. Smith
, Michelle Tabora
, Phillip Michael Youmans
, Christopher Berry
. Music by: Lorne Balfe
Stephen Dorff plays Melvin, an underachieverslacker who is lovedworshiped by everyone in his community even though he has nothing to offer, does nothing all day, and spends most of his time partying (which is just wasting time, FYI.) Sooo much of this film are composite shots of him partying, freebasing, then screaming at the camera. "YA DUDE!" You'd think the filmmakers would trust us to understand the fact that Melvin spends his time getting wasted, but nope, they hammer montage after montage after montage down our throats juuuust in case. It's okay that nothing in this film is subtle, but that doesn't mean the film has to be brainless.
What kills me about "American Hero" is its blandness. Its premise is original and a fun take on the current super hero trend of movies, but its originality is criminally wasted. This movie is just plain boring, and annoying, given the many plot points brought up but not explored. For example, Melvin learns that if he uses his super hero powers too much he may die. After this revelation, it's never mentioned again and has no effect for the rest of the film. Oi!
Melvin's character is meant to appeal to slackers, underachievers, guys who think they're above work... you know-- men who live in fantasy worlds. Melvin is truly fictional, as he is someone who gets to have his cake and eat it too. He's loved by all, has a beautiful wife and son, and by the film's end he undergoes no arc, gets no job, no training, no nothing. The filmmakers had a demographic in mind for their audience--ie, loser men-- and knew they couldn't insult them by daring to suggest that Melvin changes his wasteful ways.
But Melvin's like, way smart, you guys. He listens to Tchaikovsky ("The changes! The notes! The way it crescendos!" Gag, retch) and reads random passages from Guy de Maupassant, out of context in vain attempt to fool the audience into thinking that Melvin has a clue as to what he's talking about. This "appreciation" for literature, and everything about Melvin—from the way he dresses, interacts with others, slumps over, tries to look cool, and wastes time just feeds into the slacker mindset: "I've got, like, loads of potential, man. I'm just not interested in joining the rest of the world. Now excuse me as I go and play as a character who offers essential skills to a world in a video game or D&D."
Despite that "Undercover Brother" may be one of the worst movies I've seen (the gag throughout the whole thing: white people are lame! Get it?!) Eddie Griffin is a highlight in this movie. He's a charming guy with real charisma. However, there's one scene where Eddie's character (Lucille) is in a hospital and hits on a nurse. I... gaped, watching that. The nurse laughs his chat up lines off, but in reality, they were so creepy she would have either flown out of the room or called security. The wheelchair Melvin gifts Lucille with at the end of film too was another awful touch. Just because Lucille is loud doesn't mean you should put streamers on his chair's handles, man.
Ever listen in on a tedious, empty, dumb conversation between a gang of spoiled, pretentious gits? That's the tone of this movie.
Review by thisseatofmars from the Internet Movie Database.