comedy & parody

[Movie Review] Unknown Origins/ Orígenes Secretos (2020) ★★★★☆

Jorge, Norma and David in Unknown Origins/Origenes Secretos (2020)

Unknown Origins gives a fun spin to the superhero genre with delightful playfulness.


Unknown Origins/ Orígenes Secretos is a Netflix Original Spanish crime comedy superhero movie that is as much as a parody as an ode to the superhero genre. With three unconventional characters becoming unlikely friends they have to work together to find a serial killer posing as a villain. It does has a familiar ring to it, as life imitates art, but the execution is a ton load of fun. 

It has it all, superheroes, gory gruesome deaths, an elusive villain, a fast car, superhero costumes, a fierce love interest, a goofy sidekick and a tortured man willing to become a superhero. But it has more to offer. Besides a dramatic sentimental storyline, it has a big heart, atonement and an epic feel. Unknown Origins is a highly surprisingly funny and endearing superhero movie that could easily turn into a whole new franchise.

It is highly recommended to watch Unknown Origins with its original Spanish audio and with subtitles in your own language if possible. 


Plot

Jorge Elias is a comic book store owner who still lives at home. His father Cosmo is a cop who is forced to retire and he still competes with the ghost of his older brother Javier who as a cop died a hero. But things take a turn for the better, or worse actually, when a new cop takes Cosmo’s place, David Valentine. Immediately some gruesome murders are discovered who are by Cosmo identified as having something to do with comic superheroes. So, David’s boss, Norma, also a cosplayer, assigns Jorge to aid David in his search for the villain. But they don’t know a sinister masterplan is now set in motion. 


Why you should watch it

With all the superhero movies dominating the screen, this is something different while also creating a new superhero origin story of its own. With an unlikely sidekick, who is a geek and too big and first frowned upon by David, this movie doesn’t aim merely at provoking some laughs. It soon becomes quite apparent that in Jorge’s world, he’s the cool guy and David the loser. And that’s what makes this film great fun. Without overdoing it, turning Jorge into something he’s not. He still is a geek in everyone else’s eyes, but in this particular story, he’s unmissable. Norma, the chief of police, is a badass cosplayer who can sow and make the best outfits, while kicking ass and be a smart tough boss. 

They make a very fun and unlikely bunch, but it works very well, by not turning them into stereotypes or over the top characters. Their personal backstories play a big part in making them human and likable. While sometimes a bit sentimental it fits into the superhero genre and is a common trope. Without a big loss or trauma, it wouldn’t be a superhero story, and certainly not an origin story. 

It’s a film where life imitates art, and this is done in a very entertaining way. It can be a bit silly sometimes, with some plot devices and over the top scenes, but overall it is very amusing, with humor that hits the mark, but never takes over the story.

With a lot of pop culture references, especially to comic books, superheroes and fantasy, even a quote from Han Solo comes by, it shows the love for this genre and is both an homage as a fresh new superhero story. 

It’s a rather simple enjoyable film, with great humor and action, some pretty gruesome gory dead bodies, a crazy villain, a well-crafted and executed storyline with three characters who in time steal your heart, some faster than others. With great balance between action, humor and drama it manages to create a new origin story of superheroes. 


My favorite part

I loved the fact that for once the geeks are the real heroes. Better yet, that geeks aren’t the losers people sometimes think they are. This time they are the heroes, not by making fun of them, but by portraying them as real people, with actual  or even important jobs, and problems and backstories.


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★☆

Fun factor: ★★★★☆

Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆

Originality factor: ★★★★☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Cast and crew

Unknown Origins/ Orígenes Secretos is directed and written by David Galán Galindo and cowritten by Fernando Navarro. It stars Verónica Echegui (Norma), Javier Rey (David), Brays Efe (Jorge), Antonio Resine (Cosme) and Ernesto Alterio (Bruguera).

Duration: 100 minutes. Music: Federico Jusid. Cinematography: Rita Noriega. Edited by: Leire Alonso, Martí Roca. Produced by: Alberto Aranda, Ricardo Marco Budé, Kiko Martínez, Ignacio Salazar-Simpson. Production companies: In Post We Trust, La Chica de la Curva, Nadie es Perfecto. Distributed by: Netflix. 


Check the trailer below


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