Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Super (C-)

Over the last year, four movies have been released where the main plot revolves around ordinary individuals dressing up like superheroes and fighting crime. Each one of these movies had their own special moral about the consequences of doing this:

In Noise, the moral was that becoming a vigilante is illegal, no matter how good your intentions might be.

In Kick-Ass, the moral was that if you attempted any stunt which superheroes do in the comics you'd inevitably be killed.

In Defendor, the moral was that anyone who dared to become a "real life superhero" was criminally insane and needed serious mental help.

In James Gunn's new movie Super, the moral is that...well... to tell you the truth there really isn't any real moral in this film. Despite one character's unexpected death, Frank D'Arbo (played by The Office's Rainn Wilson) never faces any consequences for the brutal acts of violence he commits under the disguise of THE CRIMSON BOLT. Whether it's ridiculous or genius, it takes a director real guts to tell his audience that nearly no wrong can come from beating people to death in a red spandex suit.

Speaking of guts, this movie is horrifically violent. The Crimson Bolt's weapon of choice is a pipe wrench, an idea which seems funny and kind of quirky at first, but quickly becomes incredibly disturbing. As a matter of fact, the statement: "seems funny and kind of quirky at first, but quickly becomes incredibly disturbing" is the perfect way to describe this film.

Note Ellen Page's character Libby. When we first meet her working at the comic store, she seems to be a slightly more grown up version of Juno; quirky and sarcastic. But by the time she officially becomes The Crimson Bolt's sidekick (Boltie), we see her as she truly is: A violent and deeply disturbed psychopath whose only reason of becoming a sidekick is to mercilessly beat strangers to a pulp.

While from my description, it may not seem like it, but Super is a bizarrely religious movie. Frank's hero is a Christian superhero from an after-school special type of program named "The Holy Avenger". The scene where he decides to become a superhero involves him being literally touched by God, but in the most twisted way possible (Hint: It involves tentacles).

Despite all of it's flashy violence, and a memorably insane performance from Ellen Page, Super cannot be recommended because of its final act. Like the previously mentioned Kick-Ass, Super attempts to be a parody of sorts on superhero movies, yet during the final act Frank magically gains all the shooting skills in the world. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and the only good thing about it is that there are no jet packs.

If you enjoy superhero movies, or just a fan of good ol' super-violence, this should probably do the trick for you. But anyone who doesn't fall into that category, you might want to stay away.

Grade: C-

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