Raising Heroes

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Raising Heroes

Billed as "the first openly gay action-adventure story," Raising Heroes seems like it should be the logical culmination of the many subtextually gay action films. Not quite. In fact, the main problem with this low-budget first feature from director Douglas Langway is that it doesn't know what it wants to be. The plot concerns a gay couple in the midst of troubled adoption proceedings. When one of them witnesses a mob hit, they find themselves pursued by the most ineffectual mafia in film history. (At one point a ruffian tortures one of the couple's friends to find out their address after following them from their apartment building.) The clearly John Woo-inspired action is sparsely distributed throughout the film, which is a shame, because Langway seems much more comfortable with these scenes than with the melodramatic adoption plot involving shrewish social workers who speculate about what the "homosexual couple" will do with the child. There's definitely room for a gay action movie—it's hard to imagine a more subversive twist on a more macho genre, and this is an intriguing step in that direction—but Raising Heroes just isn't very good.