If Woody Allen directed a superhero movie, it might look a lot like writer/director Jordan Galland’s quirky and amusing ALTER EGOS. Our story takes place at a time when superheroes have lost all government funding and public support. Colour-coded do-gooders Fridge (who shoots ice out of his hands) and C-Thru (X-ray vision) are holed up at a deserted off-season Hampton Bays Inn. Fridge (GINGER SNAPS’ Kris Lemche) suffers serious relationship issues: he’s mad at his unsuspecting girlfriend for having an affair with his civilian alter ego (!). Meanwhile, cocky confidant C-Thru (CABIN FEVER’s Joey Kern) has captured Fridge’s mortal enemy, the nefarious Shrink (THE SOPRANOS’ John Ventimiglia), who murdered Fridge’s parents. But killing Shrink would break superhero rule #27 – “No revenge.” Complicating things further, Fridge has fallen for comely innkeeper Claudel (Brooke Nevin), who’s being harassed by failed-superhero-turned-local-copper Jimmy ("That ’70s Show"’s Danny Masterson). Despite their fancy powers, ALTER EGOS proves that superheroes are just as messed up as the rest of us.
The perfect antidote to overhyped big-studio superhero megapictures, ALTER EGOS may deal with humans with semi-extraordinary abilities, but the story and emotions all resemble real life: girl trouble, jilted lovers, fitting in and stretching a buck. While wryly deconstructing the Marvel universe, ALTER EGOS also puts a cockeyed smile on the face of the modern superhero movie. The heroes buy their leotard costumes from cheap mail-order catalogues, while the villains party in fancy nightclubs and ride around in limousines. Both sides sport wacky names such as Electric Death (played by the film’s composer, Sean Lennon), Truth Fairy, Sunburn and Ice Scream. The good guys are elitist too, rejecting Jimmy because his superpower (he can turn invisible for only 2.3 seconds) just ain’t special enough. But ALTER EGOS sure is, from the funny performances to the twists in Fridge’s dark backstory to the “epic superhero sound” Lennon provided for the film’s music— a pastiche of familiar superhero movie orchestration and a mix of pop styles. Likewise, ALTER EGOS takes superhero clichés and puts them into a real-world prism to deliver a movie that is comical, inventive and charming.
— Tony Timpone