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SIFF ADVANCE: Unhung Hero - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Directing: B-
Writing: C
Cinematography: B
Editing: C+

This gives new meaning to the phrase "vanity project." Unhung Hero wants you indeed to hail its subject, Patrick Moote, as a hero, but there's no getting around the fact that by definition this movie comes down to a guy shouting to the world, "Hey! I've got a small cock!" That small organ seems to be his window to fifteen minutes of fame. Maybe.

The arc of the story he tells, which involves traveling the country, and then the world, supposedly in search of a penis enlargement method that actually works, is patently predictable. I won't say outright whether Patrick's penis is bigger by the end of the movie (I will say you never get a good look at it onscreen, although dozens of other people see it), but I will say that if you can't already guess what the answer to that question is, you're kind of an idiot.

And this is why I often found it difficult to trust the authenticity of this movie. Patrick seems like a fairly intelligent young man. He's certainly attractive. But while most of the movie is presented as though he's literally in search of a successful penis-enlargement technique, either this guy is giving us one the greatest lines of bullshit ever put to film, or he's jaw-droppingly naïve. What if the movie was nothing but him attaining his goal of a larger penis? Did he think that would play well with audiences? In the end, what he "learns about himself" is so clichéd it's practically groan-worthy.

It all starts off with something cringe-worthy: a viral video of Patrick proposing to his girlfriend on a Jumbotron, and getting rejected. The video got ten million hits in four days. As if that weren't humiliating enough, Patrick later learned from his girlfriend that the reason she wouldn't marry him was because of his small penis.

So what did Patrick do? According to this movie, he set out to find some answers! That is, with the help of his filmmaker buddy (director Brian Spitz). Moote, as it happens, is also an actor, which doesn’t exactly help the case for this film's authenticity -- even though he freely admits to being part of the entertainment industry. Not only do we see Patrick talk to so-called "experts" in the penis enlargement industry the world over, but we even see him talking to friends, ex-girlfriends (most of whom fess up to his penis size being a problem), and family.

Eventually we learn that Patrick isn't exactly sideshow-small. A doctor examines him and then declares him "the low end of normal." He's described as "the male equivalent of a woman with an A cup."

Patrick takes on seemingly every penis enlargement technique he can try, from taking ExtenZe pills to using a penis pump to doing certain "exercises." He goes on a daily regimen for several weeks. Can he really be thinking any of these things might actually work? For most of the movie, he behaves as though he hopes one of them just might. Once the international travel begins, he even partakes in virility remedies, which isn't exactly relevant to penis size.

Mind you, much of this is indeed very entertaining, and props to Patrick Moote for being the human guinea pig in all these endeavors. The problem is that his attitude about it is something akin to Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me, except with Spurlock believing at the beginning that an exclusively Super Sized McDonald's diet for a month would be harmless. Preposterous, right? If suspension of disbelief is a challenge in a documentary, there's a problem. This film would have worked far better if Patrick made it clear from the outset that he knew penis enlargement is a racket. I'm sure he did. Otherwise, he's a moron. He's clearly not a moron, which at the very least makes him a little disingenuous.

Patrick Moote puts his special little friend through a lot of pain and trouble in UNHUNG HERO.

Overall: C+
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