I Am a Hero

I Am a Hero ★★★½

I Am A Hero is a really nice little film with a strong premise and good performances to drive its script home. I once attempted to get into the manga it's based on, but serialized entertainment just isn't for me so I gave up. That's turned out to be a mistake, because there are so many great things in this film I can't imagine all the cool shit they must've cut out. The heart of the film, the character Hideo, is an identifiable loser who likes to fantasize about being a hero and although it's never addressed the whole zombie thing might as well be in his head too, because the film is about him learning to be his idea of a hero instead of suddenly just snapping into action. The best parts of the film happen at the beginning, with some great work place dysfunction and general "this guy is a loser" comedy quickly descending into some of the most chaotic, frenetic, and frightening zombie scenes I have seen in a long time. The insane city escape sequence and the taxi incident set the bar incredibly high and honestly none of the horror in the rest of the film comes close to matching it at all. The closest thing is the inventive use of a high jump athlete turned zombie, the foreshadowing of which is a lot more interesting than the actual event. The plot gets a little hung and muddled in the second half and you can kind of tell it's based on an episodic source material because of that. I wish the story didn't have to go into the same generic "group of survivors holed up in a place have character drama and also some of them are sinister" shtick that every zombie movie and show goes into now (thanks Kirkman, you fucking hack). The practical effects on some of the zombies are great and they've come up with some pretty disgusting shit, even the CGI bits are okay in the actual designs, especially the creepy distorted eyes. The gore effects are also very nicely done but, as is so often the case, the use of CGI blood and giblets kind of takes away from what should be incredible stuff. The finale, for instance, feels like it lacks something, especially when we see the practical effects used for the aftermath (a disgusting amount of bodies and blood laying everywhere, really cool shit) and wonder what could have been. Even though it loses focus at points, I Am A Hero tells its story fairly well and also provides some wonderfully nasty zombie action, so despite its flaws it still manages to be a great time.