Stan Lee’s Lightspeed (2006)

It’s not that “Lightspeed” is pseudo-superhero junk; it’s that its pseudo-superhero junk that’s so painfully derivative, it’s boring to endure. Its ninety minutes of an origin story of two very uninteresting characters, both of whom are the resident hero and villain of said film, no less. The titular Lightspeed is just downright dull, even when the writers borrow (read: rip off) heavily from the lore of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and The Flash. With executive producer Stan Lee, the writers have license to rip off the aforementioned, I assume, but said elements are so poorly implemented that the movie itself is a chore. The derivative material wouldn’t be so bad, even, if Don E. FauntLeroy’s direction wasn’t so lackluster.

“Lightspeed” watches like a filler episode of some mid-level syndicated science fiction series and doesn’t really inspire too much mood or suspense, even when we’re watching character Daniel Leight super speed through fields, and taking down grocery store muggers. “Lightspeed” also tumbles in the realm of concept where the writer tries very hard for realism while also heavily depending on suspension of disbelief. One minute character Daniel is looking for a costume to build since the effects of running at high speeds give him bad wind burn. The next minute, we’re watching four criminals walk in to a hospital and violently mow everyone down with guns. “Lightspeed” centers on Daniel Leight, a scientist and special agent who has an accident and is endowed with the abilities to run at high speeds.

Meanwhile an old friend and colleague that developed a means of healing skin by using synthetic reptile skin and DNA. When he accidentally sets himself on fire, he uses his experiment on himself. This transforms him in to an ugly snake like madman known as The Lizard. Wait no, Doctor Doom. Wait, I’m sorry: “Python.” Daniel awakens from his coma after surviving an over exposure of radiation (because that’s how stuff works!), and learns almost immediately that he can run very fast, and soon takes up the identity of “The Flash,” I mean “Lightspeed” when he realizes his new abilities can be put to good use. Sadly the super speed begins to take a huge toll on his body, requiring him to ingest some kind of liquid to boost his metabolism. This causes him to run around with a utility belt full of vials of this liquid, which would make defeating him very easy for any respective villain. That said, “Lightspeed” runs like every other superhero origin story you’ve ever seen.

How many times in these movies have we seen a superhero stop a random mugging in a grocery store? What kind of muggers rob a store mid-day? How many times have we seen a press that’s smart enough to name a vigilante, but not smart enough to learn his identity? How blatant was the use of a blue super suit as opposed to red, cleverly avoiding comparisons to Flash? And how did they stage the big scene where Lightspeed accidentally kills an armed robber without being sued by Marvel for ripping off “Spider-Man”? It’s a shame since Python sports excellent make up, he’s just wasted in such an abysmal movie with such a stock superhero narrative, and given little to nothing to do save for shooting a lot of people, and never displaying actual powers. “LightSpeed” is middle of the road, dull, superhero fare that is so shamelessly derivative and by the numbers that, if anything, you’ll make a good drinking game of spotting moments where they blatantly rip off established comic book properties.