Henchmen is a Canadian computer animated film with an impressive voice cast. Thomas Middleditch, James Marsden, and Alfred Molina are just some of the names who lend their voices. The movie has an interesting premise, but never fulfills its potential.
Lester has dreamed of being a supervillain since he was a child. On his sixteenth birthday, he joins the Union of Evil as a henchman. When he discovers a powerful suit, he seems to be on the road to realizing his most villainous dreams.
The animation is very stiff and movement often lacks fluidity. No one seems to move naturally. The animation is reminiscent of movies from the early to mid 2000s. It is telling that the best looking parts of Henchmen are the still shots.
Much of the film is lifted from other much better movies. There is a song that sounds like a take on the “Imperial March”, a character that looks like Fat Bastard, and the suit will remind audiences of Iron Man. Since these never seem to be homages, they end up seeming like cheap knock offs.
Henchmen never broaches its intriguing idea. There have been stories about superheroes and supervillains, but none about the nameless grunts at the front lines. Early on, there are hints about how disposable they are seen as. An even greater tease, is the callous attitude the heroes have about the henchmen’s lives. Ultimately, this goes nowhere.
There are also some glaring plot holes. For instance, Lester knows he must go to Supervillain City and join the Union of Evil to fulfill his goals. Yet, he is shocked to learn the comics he has been reading his whole life are real. It is all very confusing.
Henchmen can be an incredibly funny movie. The humor flows naturally and the jokes are perfectly timed. In its best moments, the movie manages to portray a sense of fun. The question becomes, is it enough to save the movie? For many, the answer will be “no”.
Bigger villains? The NFL or the New England Patriots
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