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Review: The Boys - Amazon Prime

Keith Higgons

Posted on July 30, 2019 08:27

1 user

Finally, a Superhero show/movie that doesn't put me to sleep.

I should say that I don’t like Superhero movies, tv shows, novels, comic books, podcasts, telenovelas, musicals, etc. That said, there's been enough of them that I like one or two. Well, two: Deadpool was good and so was the first Iron Man (it’s the only one I’ve seen). I’ve seen others but, good or bad, that stuff just isn’t my jam. Suffice it to say, my guard was up pretty high when I decided to watch Amazon Prime’s new series The Boys.

Originally developed as a feature film, The Boys has been kicking around Hollywood since 2008 before Amazon stepped up in 2017 and agreed to an eight-episode series order. 

This isn’t your typical Superhero tripe. This is a show of anti-heroes (The Boys) and villains (the corporate-sponsored Superheroes, aka The Seven). A tad dystopian, ultra-violent and more than a little cheeky . . . and a dash of sex to keep it spicy.

The story takes place in the present where Superheroes, “supes”, are common. They’re nothing more than a widget to be marketed by the all-powerful conglomerate Vought International. As the “supes” give in to darker impulses and their behavior gets swept under the rug by Vought, it’s a rag-tag group of anti-heroes led by former FBI agent William Butcher that aims to hold them accountable.

While vengeance is what motivates Butcher and his recent recruit Hughie Campbell, the motive of the other “boys” MM (Mothers Milk) and Frenchie remain unclear. Throughout the eight episodes, no amount of violence or curse word is spared. As odd as it sounds, the cursing is one of the highlights.

The writing in The Boys is razor-sharp, super tight and weirdly natural. 

The Boys is loaded with an international cast. Toplined by New Zealanders Karl Urban as Butcher and Anthony Starr as leader of the Superheroes, Homelander - which makes for a subtle subtextual dynamic. While Urban maintains his accent (and delightfully explains how he became a U.S. federal agent in the first episode), Starr adapts an American one. Also donning American accents are Irish actress Dominique McGilligott as Queen Maeve, Israeli actor Tomer Kapon as Frenchie, and Brit Simon Pegg, who pops up as Hughie's father. The rest of the cast is predominantly American and topped off with the always great Elisabeth Shue as the chief corporate capitalist.

Hughie is played by Jack Quaid (son of Dennis and Meg Ryan) and leading the new “supes” is Erin Moriarity (True Crime, season 1). They prevent the show from derailing into dark territory and keep it grounded in a sense of youthful optimism. 

While the ending of season one was odd given what we were told, it’ll be interesting to see where they take The Boys next.

If you like dark humor, cartoonish violence, a little dystopia, and anti-corporatism, you’ll enjoy The Boys. If you enjoy the normal tropes of Superhero movies and shows, you probably won't.

Either way, under no circumstances, is The Boys for children.

Keith Higgons

Posted on July 30, 2019 08:27

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Source: Mashable

I never read The Boys , and I honestly don't care to after watching Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's adaptation of the comic....

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