Villains Incorporated is an overtly silly and frequently fun take on the superhero genre that might be slight but makes up for it with a big heart and solid laughs. The superhero genre has been brimming with parodies and satires in recent years. Comic adaptations like The Boys and Invincible have taken pleasure in subverting the archetypes and tropes of the genre.

It can be hard to stand out as a result. Luckily, Villains Incorporated finds a silly niche and leans hard into it. Directed and co-written by Jeremy Warner, Villains Incorporated benefits from a light-hearted but deceptively violent approach to the genre. The best elements of the film stem from this commitment to comedy, gleefully poking fun at a jaded world controlled by villains in colorful costumes and sharp suits. The underlying heart of the film elevates it but never distracts from the real intent of having fun at the expense of superheroes.


Villains Incorporated focuses largely on Beatrix (Mallory Everton), a minor minion in a world full of superheroes and supervillains. After the sudden death of her villainous commander, Beatrix, and her fellow henchmen — the sycophantic Harold (Colin Mochrie) and the wannabee peacemaker Cain (Jason Gray) — struggle to make ends meet. Beatrix decides to take charge and make a name for herself as a villain. She sees her opportunity when their new intern, Alex (Billy Mann), introduces them to a potentially game-changing invention. Their efforts are hindered by heroes and villains alike, however. Captain Justice (Trey Warner) and Sigma (Jeff Bryan Davis) work individually to bring her down.

Villains Incorporated is a comedy first and foremost. The film fully embraces a lighter tone that benefits the small-budgeted film. The film portrays a world that embraces benign evil and capitalism to a frightening degree. Superpowers are a commodity, and casualties are high. The result is a setting that fits well alongside the film’s reliance on banter and physical comedy. Bolstered by comedic talent like Everton and Mochrie, Villains Incorporated quickly develops a fast-paced back-and-forth in the dialogue.


Villains Incorporated also benefits from a surprisingly effective underlying story. Beatrix and her struggles to change the world produce a somber relatability that grounds the film. While the rest of the cast are able to take their characters to comedic heights, Everton finds minor moments of vulnerability that flesh out the story. That isn’t to say Everton can’t keep up, with her grand ambitions and near-death experiences highlighting strength in escalating a silly premise. However, it’s worth noting how she brings heart and soul to the film.

Villains Incorporated doesn’t reinvent the wheel so much as to point at it and make fun of it. The film’s anti-capitalistic themes and dark riff on Superman are well-constructed, if not wholly original. Much of the film’s subtext will feel familiar to anyone who’s seen The Boys. Still, the film’s commitment to gags makes it entertaining throughout. While it’s not the harshest-hitting superhero parody out there, Villains Incorporated benefits from a goofy tone and capable cast.

Villains Incorporated opens in select theaters April 19th.

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