“Super Sisters”: Review.  There was potential, but there was no self-awareness of genre
  • Alaa the teenager (Katarzyna Galuszka) does not fit into the world of the provinces around her. He still rebels and works against his father (Grzegorz Damici), a physics teacher at a local school. When Alaa discovers by chance that he has supernatural powers and meets his sister Lina (Karolina Proshnica), which she never knew existed, has her life turned upside down – literally.
  • film “MetaDirected by Maciej Barczewski can be seen in Polish cinemas from May 10.

In an interview, Barczewski said he grew up on Spielberg’s neo-adventure cinema. This can be seen very clearly in the new film by the director “The Master”. Joe Dante’s films (Gremlins Are Roaring, Uptown, Matinee) should be particularly close to him, since the pro-family message of his superhero story about estranged sisters with superpowers resonates so strongly. Ala (Katarzyna Gałązka) and Lena (Karolina Bruchnicka) are experimented on in the late 1980s by a secret cell of the Polish People’s Army. Headed by the cartoonishly demonic Colonel (Marek Kalita), the facility was officially closed after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the defeat of the Evil Empire. As befits an Austin Powers villain, the Colonel does not want to come to terms with this, and with Hector (Mateusz Kosiukevich), who looks like Polo Young from “Double Strike”, pursuing alongside his sister who had been freed from his underwater laboratory. Alaa does not know that her father (Grzegorz Damici), who teaches physics at a regional high school, is actually a scientist from the Communist army, who participated in a secret experiment in the past, and decided to save and raise her while she was unaware of his origins. The colonel did not forget her. Lena, who rides a wheelchair, like Charles Xavier from “X-Men,” was also not forgotten, and Alla had no idea she existed.

Tracing paper covers the tracing paper, and the diagram follows. There’s nothing wrong with that, as we get classic superhero cinema from the VHS era. It’s been 8 years since the premiere of the first season of Stranger Things, which was built on the same concept. Barczewski and co-screenwriter Krzysztof Gureczny have made a film for viewers who know well the story, which refers to the entire cinema of the 1980s, about the experiments of secret services (American, not Soviet) on children with superpowers. Copied by Ala and Lena, Eleven has become an iconic part of global popular culture. So I expected the creators of “Supersisters” to ironically rehash the phrase “Stranger Things” instead of turning it into…a simple ripoff. There’s a direct reference to the Duffer series at the end of the film, when the heroine mentions Hawkins, Indiana, but it feels like a calculated ploy by Netflix. Well, unless we get a crossover of universes from 1980s Poland and Arizona in the sequel, which would be a totally delicious idea.

The biggest problem with Super Sisters is the lack of self-deprecating humor. I don’t expect the self-awareness of “Deadpool” or “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but Barczewski can take a look at James Gunn’s superhero cinema, which deftly mocks the rules of the genre without deviating from Marvel’s (now rival DC) canon. . “Super Sisters” is reminiscent of “Flash Gordon” or “Punisher” with Dolph Lundgren. It’s all very serious and drawn with a very heavy hand. While this works well in family themes filled with Joe Dante’s atmosphere, in the climatic action scenes the director leans towards Marek Bystrak, who, however, has a strong special effects budget. Gałązka and Bruchnicka, as well as Dżer (Tymoteusz Frączek), modeled after Dustin from Stranger Things, are good at building friendships and sisterly relationships, but in the final duel Lena comes off like a heroine from a Dario Argento horror film who has drunkenly overdosed on panna. quota. These scenes would be much less caricatured if the creators winked at us from the beginning and balanced on the verge of self-parody. Or maybe they do but I don’t notice?

“Supersisters” is also devoid of the typical Polish element, which would distinguish the film from the superhero booms of world cinema. It’s all set in the early 90s, when teenagers listen to Western pop music, led by George Michael’s “Freedom”, and not Polish songs. Instead of food trucks, they have food stands, and kids run through the streets instead of Chevrolets. But nothing comes of it, except that the creators emotionally play on retro longing in the style of “Stranger Things”. A Walkman here, a Walkman there. An amusement park here instead of Fortnite, and an amusement park there instead of streaming games. It’s unfortunate that no attempt was made to place Polish teens with the superpowers in the unique atmosphere of Poland pursuing the American dream seen in “Dynasty.” There was plenty of room for screenwriters, but a safe imitation of Hawkins was chosen. Well, there’s a joke about Lech Walesa. Almost as psychedelic as the one in “Aftermath.”

This isn’t to say that “Supersisters” is a failure. We’re thrilled that producing duo Anita Hickinbotham and Leszek Budzak are not afraid to invest in pure entertainment cinema once again. In the case of this film, a little more spark of self-irony and the courage to blend Yankee postmodernism with Polish familiarity, which defined the success of “Machete” by the same producing duo, might have helped. Well, maybe the creators will spread their wings in the sequel and it will be revealed that the sisters still have a part of the world to save. After all, the 1990s in Poland were a time full of snake valleys.


“Super Sisters”, dir. Maciej Barczewski. Release date: May 10, 2024

Read more: A Polish film like no other. Special effects straight from Hollywood

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