Stan Lee’s Mighty 7
Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 2014
I just happened to stumble across this a few days ago and since it was pretty short at just about an hour long I decided to check it out as a bit of a sorbet between horror bites. It’s basically an extended TV show pilot though I haven’t read if it is going to become a show or not. The movie centers on Stan Lee as a caricature of himself, or at least the personality he portrays as his somewhat public persona. He stumbles upon a crashed ship of aliens, including two essentially space cops and five until recently captive fugitives which he eventually gets to sign a contract so he can use their likenesses in a new comic book sold as a reality superhero show. It originally aired on the Hub network and it is pretty obvious that it is aimed at kids, but there is a bit of fun to be had here and there aside from the cliché storylines and silly humor. I seriously doubt that it would be anything that I would find myself watching on a regular basis if it did become a full fledged cartoon series, but if there was another short movie like this I would check it out.
The movie is set up as a basic intro centered around Stan Lee’s comic book pitch that is about the events happening around him. Since the alien ship crashed, they are stranded on Earth for an indeterminate amount of time and the police aliens and captive aliens are forced to work together if they want to survive. But of course all of the fugitives have a sympathetic flashback explaining how they ended up on the wrong side of the law. Most of them are just petty thieves, and the “bad boy” of the group is probably a case of mistaken identity. It wouldn’t be a superhero movie if there weren’t any villains to fight and this sets up a couple different ones. There’s these lizard aliens who are known to destroy entire worlds, and there’s also the military led by an officer who gets his arm blown off and replaced with a cybernetic arm. The military is the more interesting of the two, though there of course has to be some aliens to fight so the heroes don’t have to hurt humans.
I suppose I should take a brief look at the actual Mighty 7. There’s the pseudo leader Strongarm voiced by the Lone Ranger himself Armie Hammer, who has super strength and his kind-of girlfriend/partner Silver Skylark voiced by TV’s Lois Lane Teri Hatcher, who has bird wings and her feet can become birdlike talons. There’s the bad boy Lazer Lord voiced by 80’s bad boy Christian Slater, who shoots energy beams from his hands and likes to wear sunglasses. There’s also Lady Lightning voiced by Mayim Bialik, who can run really fast, Kid Kinergy voiced by Sean Astin who is a bald telekinetic kid, Micro voiced by Darren Criss who can make himself really small, and Roller Man voiced by Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea who is very fat, but also nerdy smart and can roll around as a huge ball. I thought all the voice work was done pretty well and even though there are a lot of semi-recognizeable names in the cast, I never got any feeling of “stunt casting”. As for their powers, they all managed to have a place in the team somewhere, but aside from Strongarm, Lazer Lord, and Roller Man, the rest felt fairly superfluous.
The one thing that was different and fun about this movie was the involvement of Stan Lee, both because his voice is so recognizable, and also because it adds another element that’s not typically present in these kind of generic superhero team ups. His character here is often along for the ride, but he’s more interested in getting the story and getting them to sign the contract for him to use the story than he is in actually helping them save the day. While the jokes did occasionally feel a little forced and stiff, it was still a refreshing element, especially when at the end he used his caricatured ego to put his name above the rest of the heroes in the finished comic book. When all is said and done, it was a nice bit of harmless fun, but there wasn’t really anything beyond the surface level to really dig into. There are plenty of worse things to watch out there if it happens to come on, but I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to seek it out. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.