When it comes to the live-action world of the DC Universe, there’s a sense that things are (perhaps slowly) moving in a better direction, especially once you step outside the standard superhero boundaries. And when you do that, you create something that’s not only interesting to superhero fans but also to film buffs in general.
This is the case with “Doom Patrol.”
There are many reasons why, in my opinion, this series is excellent:
- Acting Cast: I was thrilled to see Brendan Fraser! The former “golden boy of Hollywood”, who entertained us with hits like “George of the Jungle”, “Bedazzled” (everyone remembers Elizabeth Hurley’s “devilish” performance :D), or the “Mummy” trilogy, hasn’t been seen much in Hollywood blockbusters in the last decade (due to numerous reasons, he had to withdraw from Hollywood). Here he’s found the right role! Then there’s Alan Tudyk (known from the cult, unfairly canceled series “Firefly” and “3:10 to Yuma”), famous for his brilliant voice acting for quirky animated and CGI characters, like HeiHei (to my delight! :D), Lenny, Duke of Weaselton, Iago, and K-2SO. And now, in an excellent role as a bizarre villain. There’s also Matt Bomer (need I say more than “White Collar”?), and Diane Guerrero in the challenging role of a teenager with multiple personality disorder (she was born in ’86!). And let’s not forget the legendary Timothy Dalton (who really needs no introduction to his brilliant filmography). A great cast – confirmed!
- Heroes: Our superheroes are no ideal models to be screamed over, shrieked at, and fainted for (like Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman). No, here we have Robotman (formerly a popular race car driver, whose brain (only!) was saved in an accident, now encased in a metal contraption resembling something from the show “Pimp My Ride”). Then there’s the former pilot, hit by negative energy in a plane crash, now completely bandaged like a mummy due to severe burns and radiation (and hosting some kind of energy entity he struggles to communicate with). Next up is Crazy Jane with her personality disorder… except she has 64 personalities, all disturbed…and each with their own superpower… appearing as they please. The beautiful Rita Farr/Elasti-Woman, a former Hollywood star, who during a movie shoot suffered an accident and gained the power to mutate and change parts of her body (not always in an attractive way…you’ll see). And there’s the legendary Cyborg/Cyborg, still young and far from his full potential. And let’s not forget the main villain, who has the power to influence reality… and also believes he’s the narrator of the series! (Deadpool would have a lot to say about this :D). And don’t forget the Chief, the mentor and “father” to our band of superheroes, full of secrets from the past and sins of youth. The supporting characters are a story of their own (a street that is a living entity, rat Admiral Whiskers with a Batman complex, and cockroach Ezekiel who preaches the apocalypse are a show in themselves).
- Plot: Like its heroes, twisted and bizarre. A bunch of misfit superheroes must fight against a bizarre villain who constantly plays with their minds (and they have no clue how to act like superheroes). As you can see, there’s a lot of interesting stuff here. Solid action, good audio-video background, twisted and dark (and somewhat perverse) humor. Definitely not a series for children… clearly for older audiences.
And now the key reason why this series is great for adults:
- The superheroes themselves and their interactions: Our heroes didn’t receive their powers at birth or in semi-tragic accidents. These are superheroes who have survived traumatic experiences, which have disfigured them and inflicted physical, psychological (as well as spiritual and emotional) scars for life. Traumas that led them to barely survive, or rather exist under a “glass dome,” hidden from the rest of the world. Even when they came together and “tried” to do some superhero things, the situation wasn’t any better (you’ll see in the first episodes). As much as they try to be a “family,” they are selfish, frustrated, distrustful of each other, often lacking in communication (insensitive jokes they’re not even aware of how offensive they are, insults they “throw” at each other in the heat of the moment, etc… in other words, empathy = 0). In other words, they behave incredibly humanly. You find yourself getting annoyed with them, angry at their reactions… And on top of that, their main enemy is a bizarre madman who plays with their greatest fears, while also hiding his own frustrations and fears.
(Originally reviewed: 21/06/2019)
Format: TV show
Number of seasons: 1 (15 episodes / NOTE: this was at the time when the review was done)
Runtime: 1 hr per episode