The Posthuman Project has been described as a superhero movie in the world of a John Hughes movie. At the end of the day, it comes pretty close.
The movie tells the story of a group of teenagers who gain superhuman powers right before graduation. The movie is similar to Chronicle in showing a group of kids who get super powers, but it heads off into a very different direction, keeping the movie and action fun and brisk.
Much like a John Hughes movie, there are specific character types in The Posthuman Project, but the characters never feel forced or fake. Denny and Archie are brothers whose dad disappeared one day and their mother seems to be working all the time. As a result, it is up to Denny to watch out for Archie, but he isn’t doing a very good job of it. Before Denny’s dad left, he was injured in a horrible accident while mountain climbing and has been in rehab ever since, and when the movie starts seems to be really down.
His best friend is Adam, an athletic basketball player. His ex-girlfriend is Lisa, a girl one character actually describes as “such a cheerleader.” Gwen is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks with an abusive stepfather. Archie himself is a brainiac and the smartest – and youngest – of the bunch.
Interestingly, the entire first 40 minutes of the movie is just setting up these characters and letting us get to know them, however it never drags and never seems prolonged. The script was written by Matthew Price, a comic book store owner who knows more about comics than most of us will ever know. It was then polished by Sterling Gates, the DC Comics writer who actually made Supergirl interesting. Together, they create a story that includes realistic and interesting characters while also paying respect to the comic book genre the movie resides in.
The actual plot of The Posthuman Project involves the arrival of Denny and Archie’s Uncle Billy who, after being MIA for most of their lives, offers a graduation gift for Denny to climb a major mountain in the area on land that Billy just purchased. All of Denny’s friends come along, and it is during this fateful mountain climb that they all receive their powers. The rest of the movie then shows them fighting for their lives against a ruthless organization that wants to use their powers for nefarious purposes.
For a low budget independent movie, The Posthuman Project looks fantastic. The CGI is almost flawless and the color palette is perfect for an action packed comic book film. Director Kyle William Roberts also added some fun graphics, breaking the entire film into chapters and used great transitions where a live action scene turned into a comic book panel on a page before flipping to the next chapter.
The movie looks much better than one might expect from an indie superhero film and is much better than some of its contemporaries when it comes to the technical aspects.
The acting is mostly solid, with Kyle Whalen turning in a great performance as Denny and Josh Bonzie impressing as Adam. There really isn’t a bad member of the cast, and although some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy at points, that is expected with the subject matter. Honestly, the only problem with the film might be the end, where the resolution to the battle seemed to just suddenly occur and it seemed a little bit of a letdown with the great action scenes that came before it.
At the end of the day, The Posthuman Project is a film that any fan of original comic book styled movies should see. It looks great, the action and CGI is well done, it is well acted and directed, and is just a fun movie.
The Posthuman Project is screening this weekend at the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City on Saturday, June 14 at 3:00 p.m. CST and on Sunday, June 15 at 1:00 p.m. It has also been chosen to screen at this year’s ComicCon Convention in San Diego.