starring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, & Nathan Fillion
directed by Joss Whedon
written by Maurissa Tancharden, Jed Whedon, Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon
Mutant Enemy (2008)
Maybe if I had any real online presence at the time, I might have hopped on this bandwagon when it first started rolling. Be that as it may, I am a fan of it now.
Neil Patrick Harris plays Dr. Horrible, a second-rate super-villain looking for his chance to join the League of Evil. And when he's not plotting some crime or catastrophe, he's kvetching on his video blog. There's a certain Jack Benny or Bob Hope delivery with those to-the-camera moments of the movie that Harris seems pitch perfect at doing. And he's not a bad singer either.
And that's a big plus to this movie, because the singing could have been god-awful. Maybe I'm jaded, but musicals so rarely work nowadays(I find Glee insufferable, so forgive me). Dr. Horrible sings about his exploits and his nemesis, Captain Hammer, as well as his unrequited love for a girl he met at the local laundromat (Felicia Day).
If Harris does a great job portraying a slightly neurotic, and ultimately hapless villain, Nathan Fillion does an equal job at playing the blithely ignorant and self-absorbed superhero Captain Hammer. I remember Fillion stating in an interview that he always wanted to play a superhero, so I guess this was his shot and he played it for all it was worth.
The whole story is irresistible in its charm and satirical song lyrics. If you saw the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then this will be right up your alley. And in vintage Joss Whedon fashion, he's not opposed to throwing in a dash of pathos at the height of the comedy.
I believe the episodes are still viewable online, so just a Google search if you're curious. But the DVD extras were a treat, including the director's commentary presented as its own musical, so you might want to track that down too.