Identity (2014) – By Samantha Paradise

Super hero stories have been a staple of geek culture for years. A nerdy guy that can swap his identity for a quick-witted, confident hero is an alluring narrative to any underdog. In Antony Scott’s short film, Identity, he tackles the familiar archetype of geek-turned-superhero and spikes it with a dose of realism. Far from predictable, Identity is a charming and funny film that is bound to delight its viewers.

Melvin (Andy S McEwan) is a nerdy teen in need of a coolness boost. Local bullies, “The Neds” have set their sights on Melvin’s “Dream Girl” (Lauren Wade), but he can’t prevent them from harassing the helpless damsel. Melvin returns home and morphs into a makeshift superhero using tights, duct tape and his roommate’s sunglasses. However, once he confronts “The Neds,” Melvin falls short on super hero strength. Luckily, “Dream Girl” comes to his rescue and knocks out the villains. Although “Dream Girl” finds Melvin’s efforts endearing, she informs Melvin that she has….a girlfriend.

Identity cleverly formats itself as a superhero flick for the first few minutes. Then, it turns the story sideways and pokes fun at the gaping plot holes. The director dissects tropes such as love at first sight, damsels in distress and instant heroes. However, the strong theme in Identity loses its punch due to the overuse of comic book graphics. These special effects are impressive at first but they quickly become a distraction. This is a disappointment since the story stands on its own without the floating comic book panels.  

Antony Scott’s Identity accomplishes a brave task in just over five minutes. Only a thoughtful and skilled director could capture what we love about superheroes, while playfully pointing out the glitches. A fun, lighthearted flick, Identity is sure to please geeks and “Neds” everywhere.