Sidekick is a Surprisingly Moving Superhero Short Film

Starring Josh Dallas as the superhero you never knew you needed.

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I’ll be the first to admit (with some embarrassment) that I hadn’t heard about Sidekick, a short film directed by Jeff Cassidy which stars Once Upon a Time‘s Josh Dallas, Arrow‘s Emily Bett Rickards and The Flash‘s Tom Cavanagh. The film was released in full this past Friday on YouTube, and it’s a surprisingly moving short which embraces the classic motif of a father telling his son stories before bedtime–but they’re the kind of stories that also have a deeper, more important message.

Dallas and Rickards play a married couple, James and Emma, who are obviously facing something difficult when the movie first starts, and it’s a truth that is eventually revealed through the stories James tells his son at bedtime–stories about a superhero named Captain Strong who faces off against a recurring enemy named Dark Man (Cavanagh). As the story of Captain Strong continues, it might be easy for you to decipher what each of the characters are supposed to represent–but it doesn’t take away the moving impact of the story: a father trying to give his son a story that will provide comfort when he’s not around anymore.

Watching this, I was frequently reminded of films like The Princess Bride or shows like Once Upon a Time (Dallas pulling double duty as both the dad and the hero Captain Strong was the likely culprit). Cassidy has worked behind the scenes on The Flash, and it shows. If the look of Sidekick feels familiar, the film was shot in Vancouver–where all of the other CW DC TV shows are produced. The special effects and action sequences are on par with any installment of superhero television show currently airing, and the emotional resonance of the story makes this a must-watch. You can check out the full Sidekick movie above, as well as some behind-the-scenes footage on the film’s YouTube channel.

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