Henchmen puts the bad in bad guys

It’s a nifty premise. In this age of superhero movies and action franchises, why not tell a story about the bad guys’ lackeys, flunkies and lieutenants? Why not Henchmen?

Granted, Minions already has that covered, but if you can make two live-action-but-computer-generated Jungle Books – Disney’s in 2016 and Netflix’s Mowgli, available Dec. 7 – then there should be room for another story about underlings.

Trouble is, Minions wasn’t very good. And Henchman only proves that the floor’s the limit.

Directed and co-written by animator Adam Wood, and featuring such they-should-know-better celebrity voices as Alfred Molina and Nathan Fillion, Henchmen is the story of a 16-year-old orphan named Lester (Thomas Middleditch) who longs to be a supervillain – and yet we’re supposed to root for him? His plan is to start as a henchman and work his way up the culprit ladder.

Fortunately for him, there’s a union, a job fair and a whole evil city where villains hang out and hire workers. Lester falls in with fellow henchman Hank and gets a job in the local museum, where a still-working exhibit basically falls on his head and gives him mighty powers.

Hank is voiced by James Marsden, who can act. And yet his character can’t; the last time I saw such a one-dimensional, poorly drawn animated figure it was hawking cereal with a prize in the box. The only time Hank displays any emotion is around museum curator Jolene (Rosario Dawson), and then it’s so intense it just comes off as creepy.

But wait; there’s less! Henchman’s screenplay is chock full of burps, gags (as in reflux, not humour), pee jokes, poo jokes and the line: “That’s a lot of vomit.” And in a shocking lack of originality, the main villain’s airship has a weakness that appears to be a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. But I guess theft is part of a villain’s toolkit, and if there’s one thing Henchman understands it’s how to be bad.

***

Note from WSOE.Org : This content has been auto-generated from a syndicated feed.