Directed by Ernesto DÃaz Espinoza
From the same team that brought you Kiltro, the first martial arts movie from South America, comes the Chilean hit Mirageman. Director Ernesto DÃaz Espinoza re-teams with The Rock stunt double Marko Zaror in what can only be called a superhero movie with heart and cajones.
The film follows Maco (Marko) a strip club bouncer and his little brother who have both been through a most traumatizing experience. Illustrated through comic book-like sketches, we learn that Maco’s parents were murdered during a violent home invasion, his brother viciously raped and Maco himself brutally beaten. Never wanting to feel helpless again and with his brother in a comatose state in a hospital, Maco trains his body (maybe not so much his mind) to be a remarkable machine of bad-assery.
Unlike most heroes driven by some sort of quest, Maco accidentally stumbles across a robbery at a nearby house and after delivering the ass-whooping of a lifetime, he ends up saving Carol Valdivieso, a local TV news woman. The following day, her on-air message sets the catalyst for Maco becoming Mirageman and in turn gets a local policeman interested in outsourcing him to take down a local pedophile ring. The end result of that team-up leads to the final showdown with Zaror working his way through a house of criminals where you can almost feel the pain he inflicts on them.
For a superhero movie bent on realism it’s easy to draw parallels to Batman, but Batman was a billionaire playboy with elaborate equipment and a competent costume design. Maco on the other hand, has a thrift store costume, no gadgets and accepts missions personally through his email. Without being intentionally geared for humor, there are jabs at the loopholes that real superhero films try to fill, even those of how it would work to have a sidekick.
Not wanting to rely on special effects, wires or CGI, Mirageman has some the most jaw-dropping action sequences that I have ever seen. The team behind this film are so tight that they don’t even pull punches and coupled with the fact that Marko Zaror is over 6 feet tall and stunt doubled for The Rock, this behemoth does things that should not be possible for a man his size. At times, his kicks send baddies flying five feet in the air, colliding with pillars and dropping like sacks of potatoes in almost a comical fashion. That may also be due to the fact that some fights were not even choreographed.
Laced with an incredibly appropriate funk soundtrack and montages that is a staple in any modern hero movie, Mirageman delivers in every way.