“If everyone is special, then no one is special,” claims Young Blood’s cynical, ambitious narrator, describing with boredom and disdain the world in which he lives. In Young Blood, everyone has a superpower, although most of them are fairly banal. A waitress disappears after taking a food order, while another gangster lights a cigarette with his thumb. Johnny, the film’s protagonist, has a more interesting superpower. He can resurrect from the dead. Johnny wants to use this power to move in up in local gangster Stalwart’s esteem. The opportunity arises when one of Stalwart’s packages goes missing, and Johnny takes it upon himself to retrieve it. While Johnny is able to return the package, Stalwart is nonetheless suspicious of the younger man’s motives.
Young Blood cleverness comes from absolutely irritating and egotistical the film’s anti-hero is. For most cinematic and televisual superheroes, with great power comes great responsibility. Because everyone in Young Blood has powers, magical abilities are not illustrative of an individual’s moral superiority. Rather, they are simply part of the landscape. Johnny certainly doesn’t see his power as a reason to make the world a better place. In fact, powers make him hubristic and stupid. His voice over is rather absurd, filled with clichés that masquerade as serious thoughts. Although his power is not directly discernible, he is nonetheless unsuspicious of others whose powers are also not immediately visible. When Stalwart says he doesn’t have an interesting or unique power, the younger man believes him immediately. Because Johnny is so impressed with himself and his plan to ingratiate himself into Stalwart’s inner circle, he can’t see that Stalwart isn’t buying what he’s selling.
The camerawork and editing serve to underscore Johnny’s egotism and absurdity. The movie shows the heist twice, once through Johnny’s perspective and once through Stalwarts. In the second, Johnny’s self-serving expression serves to foreshadow is ultimate downfall. The quick dialogue and deep color accentuate the film’s darkly comedic sensibility, as does the way that superpowers are embedded into the film’s landscape. These special powers are integral to the film’s themes, however, the are not the focus of its narrative. In fact, the character’s powers serve to illustrate how things mostly stay the same. In this way, Young Blood is a bit of an anti-Avengers. No one becomes less self-serving, more generous, or smarter; heroes are shortsighted and villains are petty. There are no powers, according to the film, which can make humanity better. Powers simply sink to the levels of those who have them.