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Melvin (Stephen Dorff), a reluctant hero who is far from super, has been suppressing his telekinetic powers for years with booze, drugs, and women. In the process, he has failed at practically everything, most of all as a parent to his son. After a brush with death, Melvin decides to use his powers for good and clean up the streets of New Orleans with the help of his best friend/definitely-not-a-sidekick, Lucille (Eddie Griffin). For a man who can do the impossible, it might be a fight even he can’t win.

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American Hero movie full length review - It was a great addiction to all these Superhero movies!!

Adding a bit of diversity to the Superhero movie genre is American Hero.

Stephen Dorff is cast perfectly as a mundane style superhero. A man blessed with gifts that make him special, but too nihilistic to use his powers for anything pass doing some simple parlor tricks to get money for drugs booze and girls, but like a page out of a Marvel comic, a near death experience clears his head, allowing him to become focus on the responsibility of becoming the man his son needs him to be.

Two things that make this movie impressive:

One was the outstanding performance by Eddie Griffith as a war hero who lives life in a wheelchair. The way his life parallels that of Stephen Dorff's character, a man who has everything but does nothing, was emotionally captivating in a film you would not expect this in. It was so real and natural, it was hard to believe Griffith can walk. It may seem too high praise to say it's Oscar worthy, but it was, and it's too bad they don't even consider giving out the trophy on a flick like this.

Second was the back drop of the big easy. New Orleans set the tone perfectly for American Hero, because it's one of those places in America that really could use a man with gifts like the main character and he's barely touching the surface of his potential.

The one thing that keeps American Hero from being amazing is the documentary style it's formatted in. It's not that I'm sick and tired of the format (but I am), the gimmick feels like just that, a gimmick and it takes away from the story because it's very inconsistent. I guess it was done to make us feel like we are part of the story by making us feel we are shooting the American Hero's life but Dorff's performance was too close to what the average person would do if they had superpowers that we did not need that extra push. It's one of those things that just tells you the time and the place this movie was made, like bell bottoms or baggy paints, and stops it from becoming timeless.

With that said, I do feel that American Hero has potential to be the type of film nerds will be talking about in the aftermath of the Superhero genre with the praise of a hidden gem among them.