The Boys - Amazon Original Series Review

Updated: Oct 19


“The Boys” Amazon original series is not for the faint-hearted. Those who can sit through its ample gore and graphic violence, are rewarded with an explosion of morally challenged heroes on a quest for glory. The premise of this series is what would happen if the superheroes you looked up to wore a bunch of selfish jerks with little care for the masses - a rebellion. These superheroes are managed by a corporation called Vought who profits from their actions and the media buzz generated.


Hughie, Billy and Frenchie

The Boys series gets its name from a bunch of rag-tag brave hearts that take on superheroes for personal vindication and the good of society. Here’s a headcount:


  • Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) - the former British SAS operative who blames Homelander for the disappearance of his wife.

  • Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) - the only civilian in the mix. He joins to avenge his girlfriend Robin after being killed by A-train

  • Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) - the weapons specialist and chemist who’s in the group to protect his criminal homies.

  • Mothers Milk (Laz Alanso) - the former Marine Corps medic turned muscle, in the group to avenge his father who worked to bring Vought down

  • The Female/Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) - the mysterious supe (superhero) who fights against those who turned her into a supe against her will.


Cast

The Cast is a great mix of faces across genres and ones that we are used to seeing kicking ass. Karl Urban seen in Dredd, Doom, and Thor 3 has a platinum certification in kicking ass. Antony Starr, you would recall from Banshee and American Gothic. Erin Moriarty is no stranger to the superhero genre, starring in Jessica Jones, and Karen Fukuhara played the sword-wielding Katana in Suicide Squad.


Among the more well-known faces, Elizabeth Shue delivers a great performance, and Simon Pegg a good cameo.


Superpower Tally

This is a list of all supes and their respective powers:

Superhero Powers

Amazing Scenes

Queen Maeve stopping a speeding armored truck dead in its tracks. It is a realistically filmed scene wherein Maeve replaced a pole that the truck was actually made to smash into at full speed.


Queen Maeve stopping a truck

As grotesque as the Robin scene was, it sets up the entire course of 2 series, hence it makes this list.


Hughie and Robin

The Spice Girls pep talk scene, I think, adds some much-needed levity in the situation and is pretty funny.


Hughie, Frenchie and Mother's Milk


Any scene where the Deep ends up as unintentional comic relief, where the soundtrack devolves from a triumphant bellow to a downright comical needle scratch stop to the music is funny.


Background Score and Soundtrack

The soundtrack and background score are as dark and grimy as the basement Butcher’s Boys stay in. It would be worth downloading the soundtrack of the Boys as a workout anthem.


Comic Book Source

The Boys is an American comic book series, written by Garth Ennis and co-created, designed, and illustrated by Darick Robertson. It was originally published by Wildstorm (DC Comics) before moving to Dynamite Entertainment.


The Amazon Web series version has subtle yet significant differences from the comic that comic readers might notice.


Plot

The plot begins with Hewey losing his love Robin to A-train’s error. A-train runs through her like human whipped cream (yes, its THAT graphic - get used to it!). This subplot is then connected to a larger story of a bunch of underground operatives through William “Billy” Butcher, who goes out on a supe (superhero) culling spree. Butcher is trying to cope with the supe induced loss of his wife by trying to nail as many supes as possible to the wall.



Homelander

The series is worth watching for the super-powered scenes alone, but there’s so much more to The Boys than a dark superhero medley. It touches upon the many social ills that ail society today. It brings up corporate greed and unethical scientific practices with Vought and its compound V, along with workplace harassment between the Deep and starlight. There’s the problem of immigration that is hinted at with Kimiko and her brother. It generally talks about the misuse of power by organizations and people of great wealth and influence, and about how human nature is deeply flawed.


Season 1 sees The Boys on a quest to bring down the Vought corporation by exposing compound V. V is the “Captain America” type serum given to normal people to initiate the development of superpowers. Not only do they end up capturing and killing a supe, they even go after the rest of the hallowed “Seven” by getting dirt on every supe. Things get crazier and gorier until an expectedly shocking finale. You see the group getting used to each other and complementing each other’s strengths throughout the first series.


Season 2 gets better with a fresh truckload of supes in every episode! You get to know Frenchie’s backstory along with Butcher’s past. It moves faster and is funnier than season 1.



Definitely worth a watch during the Pandemic!


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©2020 by Yadav Venugopal.