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Heroes (2006)

Save the Cheerleader. Save the World.

Directed by:

Allan Arkush

Greg Beeman

Paul Shapiro

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 45 minutes

Country: United States

If you liked X-Men, you’ll love this! In a thoughtful re-imagining of the genetically improved comic book superhero scenario, SciFi Channel have a real winner.

Played out with touches of pathos and humour, all overshadowed with harbingers of an onrushing apocalypse, Heroes is superbly crafted. The pacey scripts are fleshed out with a set of tremendous central characters, including time-shifter Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), self-repairing cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), flying politico Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) and his copycat brother Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), psycho-killers Jessica Sanders (the gorgeous Ali Larter) and Sylar (Zachary Quinto), mind reader Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), mind bender Eden (Norah Zehetner) and a Haitian mind wiper (Jimmy Jean-Louis). There is even an invisible man Claude (Christopher Eccleston) and a prophet Isaac Mendes (Santiago Cabrera).

So how does it feel to be a superhero? Not that great apparently, these are misfits with secrets to keep, mostly more afraid of discovery than thrilled by their gifts. Only Hiro seems to want to shout about his. The characters are more believably real than Batman or Superman have ever been and so far the only costume in sight is Hayden Panettiere’s cheerleader outfit (which is a treat, it has to be said).

With so many complex characters, this could easily have ended up as a real train smash. While the first three or four episodes are confusing, as it inevitably takes time to weave so many strands together, the writers Tim Kring, Natalie Chaidez and Michael Green cleverly bring it off with some surprising twists and turns along the way.

It's Got: Superheroes, superheroes, superheroes

It Needs: Season Two (which is planned)

Alternatives:

Batman, Superman, X-Men

Summary

I was upset when one of my favourite characters was killed off, but never mind, Heroes has more superheroes than you can shake a stick at, great scripts and is funny, scary and touching by turns, so what more could you possibly want?

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