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REVIEW: The Umbrella Academy is one unpredictable rollercoaster

Last February, we joined our friends from LG Philippines for the launch of Netflix’s latest superhero series–The Umbrella Academy. They converted the Shooting Gallery Studios in Makati into an immersive escape room experience dubbed as the Seven Super Rooms.

 

Celebrity guests came to test their wits and experience being a superhero for a day with a series of mind-boggling challenges. They each overcame puzzles amplified by the super-tech provided by LG Philippines. Each room was designed based on the dysfunctional mindset of the characters from The Umbrella Academy.

 

Making the whole Seven Super Rooms experience more immersive and true-to-life, LG OLED 4K TVs were installed in each room. They delivered cutting edge display and stunning visuals, intensified by cinema-quality Dolby Atmos sound, and ultra-fast response times. Some of the challenges involved LG OLED TV’s AI capability to give out voice commands and ignite a karaoke song. LG’s Crystal Clear sound was also utilized to concoct the perfect cocktail while listening to a hero’s instructions.

 

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

 

Superhero origins

As featured in the February 2019 issue of Speed Magazine, we noted how this adaptation of the Dark Horse comic can jumpstart Netflix’s own brand of superhero content. Especially after the departure of Disney and Marvel content on the streaming platform.

 

The Umbrella Academy is about seven children born on the same day out of mysterious circumstances. They were adopted by an ultra-rich philanthropist who raised them to become superheroes. Each of the children, except for one, possessed superpowers. Luther, aka Number One (Tom Hopper), is gifted with super strength. Diego, aka Number Two (David Castaneda), has superb fighting skills and is particularly good with knives. Allison, aka Number Three (Emmy Raver-Lampman), has the ability to manipulate reality by whispering a “rumor” to your ear. Klaus, aka Number Four (Robert Sheehan), has the ability to communicate with the dead, while Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) can travel through time. Ben, aka Number Six (Justin H. Min), is already dead by the time the show begins its story in the present time. Number Seven (Ellen Page), aka Vanya, on the other hand, is established as powerless compared to her siblings.

 

The initial stirrup happens when the seven siblings’ father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) mysteriously dies. Having lived their own lives for several years now, the children are forced to reunite for the funeral. Number Five, who has been missing since their teenage years, returns without having aged a day. The plot thickens when he reveals that he’s seen the apocalypse before, and it’s about to happen in a few days.

 

Mind-boggling twists

The thing about The Umbrella Academy is that it embraces its dysfunctionality. While there are hints of your usual superhero origin story in it, the twists and turns that follow each character are not quite as you would expect. (A villain assassin suddenly growing a conscience and kicks off a May-December love affair. Where else have you seen that kind of storyline?) Besides the heart-pumping action and excitement stemming from the characters’ superhuman abilities, the show is peppered with other themes as well.

 

A lot of family drama surrounds the main plot. Among them are the children’s issues with their “heartless” father and Vanya’s struggle to belong with her extraordinary siblings. There’s also a good dose of witty comedy and nods to pop culture, plus romance from the most unexpected of places.

 

While reading the original comic book is not required, it pays to know the man behind this imaginary world to understand it. Gerard Way, known to many as the lead vocalist of My Chemical Romance, has quite a penchant for the dark and twisted. The overall brooding feel of the show is a reflection of that. Matched with a great soundtrack that ranges from ’80s pop tracks to EDM club mixes, the show is definitely a cult hit in the making.

 

If you haven’t seen this one yet, you better to do so now. The Umbrella Academy is best seen on a 4K screen. So go on and purchase a LG 4K OLED TV and Nano Cell TV from today until March 15, 2019, to get free six months of Netflix Premium access (4K UHD Plan) that allows you to see the show in all its UHD glory.

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