During Marvel Studios rise to dominance in the theatrical space there were initially a lot of talk about ‘superhero fatigue’ (which never really occurred, probably because they made many different types of movies that happened to feature superheroes, as opposed to repeating the same formula again and again).
Though if judged from a distance one could be excused for assuming they were nothing nothing more than male-dominated special effects-based extravaganzas with little in the way of plot or characterization.
And while there’re more than a few comic-based movies fit that description, not all do, which brings me to Julia Hart’s Fast Color, which is less a “superhero” movie than a movie revolving around people with abilities that are vaguely supernatural/superhero-adjacent.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Ruth, a woman on the run from unseen pursuers though we come to learn that she’s prone to seizures, which when they happens result in tectonic shifts.
In other words, earthquakes.
On the run, she returns home and in the process learns more about her abilities as we’re introduced to her mother, Bo (Lorraine Toussaint) and daughter, Lila (Saniyya Sidney), who she was forced to leave behind.
Ruth, and we along with her, comes to learn more about the powers she possesses, and how they’re manifested in the women in her family.
So by returning home, she discovers her past and in doing so learns to control her abilities, though her pursuers are hot on her trail.
As I implied, Fast Color plays more like an extension of the 2006 NBC series Heroes than a traditional comic book-based movie and that’s a good thing because if Ruth and Bo broke out costumes it likely would have ruined the entire movie.
It also doesn’t have a large budget, though director Hart does well with what she has, making a movie that’s life-affirming and engaging in ways few superhero films can manage.