The average MCU aficionado or fan of big budget tentpoles often dismiss low budget fare as cheap, tiresome, or bad. For Johnny Q. Marvelnerd, films like Forbidden Power will likely go unseen, unheard of, and unappreciated… and that’s truly a shame. You see, I couldn’t care less about what others think of the films I like and films I don’t like, but overlooked independent films can become a sore spot for me. The biggest reason I find it upsetting when these films are underrepresented and underappreciated is because many of them are willing to present ideas and themes that break away from the tropes that have become stale and played out.
Take Infinity War, for example. As much as I find it extremely enjoyable and more ambitious than much of the formulaic MCU, it still finds a way to remain steeped in the tropes that have come to define these movies.
On the other hand, Forbidden Power throws all of the tropes out of the window. There is certainly a correlation to some superhero origin stories – as our protagonist is feeling his way through his newly discovered powers – and an influence from films like Limitless – with the powers often resembling powers of the mind portrayed in such films; however, the film offers a fresh take on both the origin of the powers and the attempts of others to control or harness the powers. In short, Forbidden Power presents new and exciting ideas.
Paul Kyriazi’s latest film – his first as director in 28 years – is described in the press release as follows:
Young businessman George (Lincoln Bevers) has a one-night affair with a mysterious Native American woman (played by Nasanin Nuri). When he wakes up the next morning, she’s vanished, but leaves him empowered with abilities that far exceed his own, and with a cryptic message. George embarks on a dangerous quest to find her and the meaning of her message and the extraordinary superhuman gift developing within him.
Kyriazi is no stranger to fresh and exciting ideas, nor is he a stranger to working with limited budgets. The ambitious director behind cult classics Death Machines, Omega Cop, and Ninja Busters pushes in new territory with the idea of sexually transmitted powers. These powers go unexplained at first and we are along for the ride as our protagonist, George, learns of what he can do and where the powers have come from. As he learns of these things, he’s also forced to face the distinct possibility that these powers were given to him with nefarious expectations attached. We’re right at his side while he figures out how to cope with these revelations.
Kyriazi gets the most from his cast, with earnest performances, especially from Bevers. The budget limitations are noticeable at some points, but it doesn’t hurt the storytelling or the overall strength of the film. Film fans who can appreciate lower budget films will find nothing here to distract or devalue anything the film has going for it. Those MCU obsessed Twitter trolls need not bother with this one, unless they can have an open mind about it. Originality is what is valued most here and I applaud it.
And, as far as I’m concerned, any project involving Paul Kyriazi, is worth a watch or three. So, check out this fresh, exciting, and trope busting superhero story.