Canister X Movie Review #39: Hero at Large (1980)
Written by A.J. Carothers
Directed by Martin Davidson
Runtime 98 min.
4.5 out of 5
When nice guy and tough-on-his-luck actor Steve Nichols steps in and stops a convenience store robbery while dressed as Captain Avenger after promoting the movie of the same name, his life is changed and he suddenly finds himself as a superhero. Now with everyone wanting a piece of him, can he balance playing to the crowd with doing the right thing?
I got this flick on VHS and on DVD and it’s one of my all-time favorites. Such a warm comedy that harkens back to a time when movies had values and superhero action wasn’t full of angst and drama. Instead, this movie is the opposite and I don’t mean it’s a goofball comedy. It’s simply loaded with heart and is about a man who constantly tries to do the right thing in and out of costume simply because that’s who he is, no other reason.
John Ritter’s amazing in this flick. He was amazing in everything he did and it’s sad he’s no longer with us. His portrayal of nice-guys-finish-last Steve Nichols is inspiring and it’s oh so rare nowadays that you meet someone like that, but when you do, your whole day has been made better, if not your week. Sometimes even your life.
The story is a simple one, but one that doesn’t follow the standard superhero formula and thus makes the movie the great one that it is. It’s about the guy beneath the costume versus the costume itself and all the explosive action that would normally entail.
Without giving anything away, but reading between the lines, the supervillain in this movie is someone who made the wrong choice at the best time, and the consequences that play out leave you with a morality tale steeped in how important it is to do the right thing even when it’s not the popular thing to do. We can all take a lesson from that.
Hero at Large is a heart-warming superhero movie perfect for a rainy day. Or a sunny one.
I love this movie. It’s that simple.