'Fast Color' - Movie Review

Near-future, post-apocalyptic science fiction with superheroes. I don't think the director (Julia Hart) would be entirely thrilled to hear her movie so described, but she would be hard-pressed to deny it. She likes to describe it as being about woman power and creativity, and it's about that too. Our protagonist is Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw - definitely a rising star actor), a recovering drug addict making her way home across a world almost devoid of water. And she causes earthquakes. But her mother (Lorraine Toussaint) and her daughter (Saniyya Sidney) who she returns to have more positive powers ... but all of them hide those powers from the world. For very good reason.

There are moments of brief action, but most of the movie is about family relations and growing up. Both the acting and script are good, so that works out fairly well.


This section includes spoilers not only for this movie, but several other superhero movies. I'll name them here so you can avoid reading this if you want to: "The Incredibles," "Hancock," and "Wreck-It Ralph" (1 and 2).

What's never directly addressed in this movie (or even in the extras) is that the drought that Ruth is on her way to solving at the end of this movie was of her own making. That's right: her fear of water and nearly drowning her own child caused her to lock the entire country into an eight year drought.

This is a classic trope in superhero movies: the hero creates a problem, grows up a bit, faces and solves the problem. This can be seen in "The Incredibles" (Mr. Incredible's off-hand dismissal of Buddy causes him to become Syndrome), "Hancock" (he removes a bank robber's hand and the man becomes his archenemy at just the wrong time), "Spiderman" (Uncle Ben, need I say more), "Wreck-It Ralph" (Ralph's desire for a medal brings the Cy-Bugs to Sugar Rush), and "Wreck-It Ralph 2" (Ralph's insecurities create a monster, in possibly the most literal interpretation of this trope). Don't get me wrong: while I'm a bit tired of Peter Parker, I love all those movies (except for "Wreck-It Ralph 2"). But that's not the point: I could fill pages with movies of "heroes" solving problems they created. Don't get me wrong: it's a form of heroism to overcome your own issues, but for us to hold someone up as a hero when they caused the problem in the first place is somewhat more dubious. This movie is definitely different, in many ways, from other superhero movies. But they fell into that trap, which amuses me greatly.