REVIEW: The League

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Kyle Higgins, the current writer of Nightwing, has an unparalleled love of superheroes that manifests itself in his short film The League. Set in Chicago, the Grey Raven’s sidekick, Sparrow, has returned to investigate a series of murders seemingly committed by an old speedster super villain. Does the passion poured into the project make for a good film? Find out with a special indie movie Major Spoilers review!

Theleague_Poster02-1The League
Directed and Written by – Kyle Higgins
Co-Written by – Alec Siegel
Sparrow – Andrew Hilyard
Geoffrey Warner/ The Grey Raven – Rick Cramer
The Blue Blaze – Reginald James

The League Trailer from Kyle Higgins on Vimeo.

The trailer sets the tone for the movie very well. Its a darker tone superhero movie, championing the same kind of “Golden/Silver Age heroes gone real” pathos first seen in Watchmen, and used in comics as recently as Danger Club. Despite its use in comics, this idea is fairly unused on film (with the primary exception being the Watchmen movie of course).

A FAN FILM

Its very obvious this movie was made by a comic fan, and I mean this in the best possible way. Kyle Higgins uses a lot of short hand characterization, heavily borrowing from the Robin and Green Lantern motifs, assuming the audience can fill in the blanks, which assumes the audience is somewhat familiar with those characters already. This does not make the movie inaccessible to those not familiar, however, somethings may just seem a bit arbitrary. The plot moves along at a nice pace, with a central mystery that is constantly changing and introducing new factors. The dialogue, while hammy at times, has enough great lines in it to make the ham worth it. The movie is also shot really well, there are just some wonderful scenes and moments in it that stick with me long after my initial viewing.

NOT THE WORLD’S FINEST

The acting in The League is a very mixed bag. Rick Cramer as the Grey Raven and Reginald James as The Blue Blaze are the two best performances in the piece, easily professional level acting. The supporting and bit actors are nothing to write home about. The star of the piece, Andrew Hilyard as Sparrow, shifts along the spectrum of acting, from terrible to great, throughout the movie. So much so, that in the end I was not sure weather or not he actually could act at all, or I had just been tricked into thinking he was good at times.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH A WATCH

I bought the HD version of The League from Apple for $2.99. The regular version is only $1.99. I would say either version is worth getting, really some great value for your buck if you are at all a fan of superheroes. Even if you are not a fan of superheroes and just want to check out a good indie movie, you should still pick this up.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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