That Man Bolt


UK/US Netflix, streaming now

Director Motonobu Hori

Cast Kenjiro Tsuda, Maaya Sakamoto,

Hiroshi Yanaka, Yasuji Kimura

Mark Millar and Leinil Yu’s four-issue comic miniseries gets an anime make-over from Netflix and animation studio Bones, the folks behind My Hero Academia and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhoo­d.

The comics concern a team of superpower­ed petty crooks who leave the US, with its abundance of costumed heroes, to try their luck in Spain. Dai Sato’s screenplay – a prequel for most of its duration – loses the Iberian angle, focusing on the hapless Johnny Bolt and his attempts to get rich through a life of crime.

Bolt is the series’ greatest weakness, a lightweigh­t character with no redeeming qualities, who’s also very passive in plot terms. The final, climactic heist involves clearing a debt to Carmine, a supporting character, so there’s nothing personally at stake for

Bolt, and he smirks through the whole enterprise without a care in the world.

True to Millar’s style, there’s plenty of violence. Two members of Bolt’s team, brothers Randy and Sammy Diesel, can regenerate from any injury, so every action scene involves them being dismembere­d, mangled and eviscerate­d. Since their powers mean they’re never in any danger, it just becomes an excuse to splatter gore about the screen. If there’s meant to be a message about the superheroe­s being more violent than the crooks, then it’s lost in delivery.

The plotting is contrived – for example, at one point the antagonist­s have Bolt and his squad completely at their mercy but inexplicab­ly spare them – character designs and animation are unremarkab­le and overall, the series feels emotionall­y uninvolvin­g and oddly humourless. David West

Mark Millar originally had plans to make a low-budget live-action film of Super Crooks, but the project fizzled out.

 ?? ?? “I’ve always wanted a pearl necklace.”
“I’ve always wanted a pearl necklace.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia