How I Became A Super Hero (2021) Movie Review – Is this just a French version of Project Power?

A surprisingly fun & vibrant flick

How I Became A Super Hero is a French superhero flick that shares more than a few similarities to last year’s Project Power.

The plots between these two movies are virtually the same but with one distinct difference – this one feels a lot more fun. Unlike 2020’s moody flick that struggled with its tone and ideas, How I Became A Super Hero oozes charisma and leans into its wit and quirkiness to great effect.

The story essentially takes place in a world where superheroes and humans coexist. At the center of this is lone cop Gary Moreau who’s none too pleased when he’s teamed up with Lieutenant Cecile Schaltzmann.

Their case together is a simple one, as they’re assigned with uncovering a string of strange superhero-related deaths that are linked to an experimental drug hitting the market. This gives ordinary people super powers.

For the most part, the film plays out as a gritty crime drama, with the two detectives trading ideas – and sharp wit – as they get to the bottom of what’s happening.

Throwing a spanner in the works though is a nice little twist midway through. This showcases that one of this pair (I won’t reveal it here for spoilers) actually has powers but chooses to hide it due to a past tragedy.

It’s typical superhero backstory material but the movie has a real boots-on-the-ground feel to a lot of its set-pieces.

This isn’t a bombastic action flick like a Marvel or DC film, and instead Director Douglas Attal takes us through the gritty reality of these different scenes.

Blown up shops look like the innards of a warzone while pedestrians caught in the cross-fire lie weeping and struggling to keep their nerve. The camera tracks along the ground, following our pair as they try to work out what’s happened.

When the supers do show up, the powers on offer are your typical run-of-the-mill blasts we’ve seen before numerous times before. Expect everything from telekinesis, flame and ice powers to crop up, to name a few. However, How I Became A Super Hero is far less concerned with its powers and larger-than-life heroes and more interested in keeping things grounded.

There’s a lot of dialogue to chew through in this movie and some will undoubtedly go into this and be disappointed by that approach. However, the movie actually does a really good job capturing the right balance between crime drama and light-hearted superhero flick.

How I Became A Super Hero is not without its problems, and the pace is a little slow during the second act. On the whole though, this is a largely enjoyable romp not to be taken too seriously.

In an age of superhero thrillers, this one doesn’t quite do enough to stand out but it’s certainly an enjoyable ensemble nonetheless.

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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