Six (indie) European superheroes that deserve your attention

2015 has been an impressive year for (indie) European superhero movies, which, staying true to their genre, represent a fresh alternative to the blockbusters we are used to. We have put together a list of some of these films that definitely deserve your attention: 

The Invisible Boy by Gabriele Salvatores (2014, Italy)

Winner of the Young Audience Award at the European Film Awards in 2015 and directed by the Oscar winner Gabriele Salvatores (Mediterraneo), The Invisible Boy is among the best European superhero releases from last year. The film follows the story of Michele, a thirteen-year-old, who is shy and unpopular at school, but after wearing a costume for a Halloween party, he finds out that he is invisible. Comedy with a clever storyline, The Invisible Boy is a great teenager superhero film that looks at themes of friendship and empathy, setting itself apart with very well executed special effects and beautiful cinematography. It will land on 11 April on video-on-demand. Find out more here

The Portuguese Falcon by João Leitão (2015, Portugal)

The Portuguese Falcon features a fascist soldier turned superhero in order to defend the dictatorial regime against dissidents. With the clear intention of turning history upside down, transforming villains into heroes and vice-versa, the film challenges moviegoers to think about Portuguese contemporary history while laughing with the film’s hilarious plot and dialogues.

Vincent by Thomas Salvador (2014, France)

Vincent is the self-proclaimed “first French superhero movie”, it knows its limits and is as true to the indie superhero genre as it can be. With beautiful shots of rural France, the film tells the story of Vincent, a quiet, lonely, predictable and even boring man. Except for one thing – he has superhuman powers when exposed to water, which make him ten times stronger and faster. This film is a must see for all fans of the superhero genre looking for innovative superhero storytelling. 

They Call Me Jeeg by Gabriele Mainetti (2015, Italy)

Yet another superhero film from Italy, They Call Me Jeeg was released in 2015 and proves that Italian superhero cinema is on the rise. The film features a criminal loser who discovers his powers and learns to use them for good with help from Alessia, who is convinced that he is the hero from a famous Japanese manga. “There’s not a character in this film that audiences won’t love. Each is well written and both cruel and fragile at the same time,” says Vittoria Scarpa for Cineuropa.

SuperBob by Jon Drever (2015, United Kingdom)

This low-budget superhero film from the United Kingdom relies more on comedy than on action. One would say that this is exactly what is expected from the first British superhero. The film follows superhero Robert Kenner’s day off, with no supervillains around, only circumstances conspiring to keep him from enjoying his free day. SuperBob is a superhero romcom that is definitely representative of fresh innovation in the superhero genre.

Antboy 1, 2 & 3 by Ask Hasselbalch (2013, 2015, 2016, Denmark)

Aimed at younger audiences, Antboy is a pure joy for children, telling the story of 12-year-old Pelle, who is bitten by an ant and develops superpowers. Aided by comic book nerd, Wilhelm, Pelle creates a secret identity as superhero, Antboy. When a super villain The Flea enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge. It may not have that “wow” factor, without any unexpected twists and complexity to be found, but, keeping in mind its target audience, it fulfils its task in an excellent way.

vrijdag 8 april 2016, van Cineuropa

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