Created by : Kevin Smith
Stars: Chris Wood, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lena Headey, Mark Hamill and Liam Cunningham.
So He-Man is back on Netflix and they are calling it – re-imagined. He-Man is “woke”. Everyone and everything is “woke” these days, and Mattel and Netflix wanted on the bandwagon. So He-Man is back and he is “re-imagined” by the bottom dwelling Kevin Smith who will do anything for a buck. The man is doing Clerks III, and that should tell you everything you need to know about him.
The story goes that Mattel Television came to him, because of his work with Green Arrow and Daredevil. So they were impressed with that and wanted him to bring new life into He-Man for Mattel and for Netflix.
New life is exactly what he brought. The show looks really great, the voice actors are really great, the feel is really great – but there’s one problem – there is no He-Man. Mr. Smith and Rob David, Vice President of Content Creative at Mattel thought it would be super awesome if they did He-Man without He-Man. What? Yea.
So they made this first part a “quest” kind of thing to find and bring back He-Man. This reminds me of Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), the first movie made after Peter Sellers died. Journalist Marie Jouvet tried to uncover the mysterious disappearance of Inspector Clouseau. They had old film clips to play as people remembered Peter Sellers and that was the movie. I remember feeling extremely ripped off – well here I am feeling the exact same way again. That movie was so bad, Peter Sellers’s wife sued MGM and won for tarnishing her husband’s memory. If only He-Man could sue Mattel and Kevin Smith. I’d bet he’d win.
So no He-Man – who runs the show? Well it is the “woke” era, so of course a female must take command, and it is Teela. Why not Man-At-Arms? The experienced general and weapons maker who was He-Man’s best friend for his entire life? Who knows. Teela it is, and honestly I could care less who takes the reins, the point is moot because there is no He-Man.
You can call it “The Adventures of Teela” or “Teela: Princess Warrior” or just re-imagine “She-Ra”!! She-Ra is a female! It still works! You can still be “woke”!! Pulling the old bait and switch is just cruel, has Mr. Smith learned nothing from Star Wars debacle? 40 years we wait for Luke – and then – no Luke. 40 years we wait for He-Man, and then – no He-Man.
So Teela becomes a mercenary of sorts, and does dangerous jobs for pay. She ran away from King Randor and the Queen because she was upset no one told her that Adam was He-Man. A secret kept from her for her own safety and a secret that literally only 4 people on the entire planet knew about. Doesn’t matter – she is pissed no one told her – and in a huff she throws away her entire way of life and her high position in the King’s Guard. Kind of dramatic, but Kevin Smith wrote Clerks, so. There’s that. He’s not exactly a story kind of guy, or a director kind of guy – I mean there is a reason no one wants to make movies with him anymore. Anyway –
Mark Hamill does his best Joker voice here for Skeletor and it is fun. Lena Headey from Game of Thrones voices Evil-Lyn and she is great, Sarah Michelle Gellar takes the lead as Teela and does fine work. All the voice actors are fantastic, and the animation is really good. If they had included He-Man in He-Man, this show would have my full support. However, this first and second part, 10 eps in all, is just a quest to find He-Man, so who knows what will happen after that.
The other beef I have with this is how dumb they made He-Man. They made him so dumb, that for the very brief scenes he is in, Skeletor actually outsmarts him, twice. Now as a kid He-Man was always like our parents. If we skinned a knee, a parent would show up and it was better. If we were confused or lost, a parent would show up and make it better. This is how we viewed He-Man as kids. He-Man would show up and make it better. He used his brains, more than his brawn, and Skeletor and his crew knew they could never beat him, so they always tried to trick him or get away with something without him knowing it. As soon as he’d show up though – it was always fixed.
All that is gone with this new He-Man. Kevin Smith said he wanted to make a He-Man for grown ups – and so he has. He-Man gets defeated, he gets outsmarted and he really is not much to look up to, at all. Mr. Smith has humanized a hero for the ages, and in a way, I guess that’s what Mattel is paying him to do. This is not the era for heroes, it is the time to be “woke”