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Review Valentine: The Dark Avenger (2017): Indonesian superhero fails the city!

genre: superhero, comic book, martial arts, action

You would think that with so many superhero films and shows popping up I would get tired from them? And honestly I still can't enough of them. Especially if they are done right. Unfortunately Valentine: The Dark Avenger fails to do what it is set out to do.

There are a number of reasons. First let me start by saying that the premise is a good one and it could have made an impact when actually executed properly. However the core of what should have been the edge was a disaster right from the start. Bono, wants to make a film about a female superhero who will fight crime with her extraordinary martial arts skills. His idea is to inspire the people and give them hope. A noble idea for sure. It might have worked had the main character played by Estelle Linden actually been a good martial artist. Not to say that she was bad. But you could tell that she and other actors needed help like camera trickery, fast editing and wireworks. But you know what? While the action was on the disappointing side it was decent enough. 

The real problem is everything in this production starting with the direction and ending with the acting of the main character. Estelly Linden is pretty and does seem like she has potential. But she needs to improve on many levels for me to take her seriously. Her acting was bad. She just didn't sell it especially in the moments when it counted. Then there is the way the story is told. It is too drawn out and slow. For a superhero film there simply is not enough action and spectacle to be enjoyed. Plus there is not that much plot to go on. It's predictable as hell which is fine had it more to tell and show. 

It is pretty obvious the budget for this film was low. And cinematography wise it was decent. I even could appreciate the style. What I could not tolerate however was the bad CGI and poor green screen effects. Like the editor didn't know how to use chroma key properly. And yes I am aware it takes a lot of practice and experience to get it right. But why make use of green screen when there is no reason for it? You have these colourful female baddies prancing around in front of a wall of tv screens and all I could think of how even I could have done a better job by avoiding the issue entirely. If the idea was to convey the viewer of how well the bad guys are informed and organized they could have done so in a dialogue scene. For example the main baddie could have schooled another baddie of how he knows everything about his operation. life and everything else. It sure would have made the main baddie more sinister. What was the director's idea to do so? By giving the main baddie a cartoony dark voice. And having him explode police cars. It's all so epically misguided. You can tell director Ubay Fox means well, but that he clearly lacks the skills, experience and vision to do a proper superhero film. 

Overall I wouldn't waste my time if I were you. It doesn't redeem itself once. And don't get confused with the 2019 release. It's just a re release. 

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