Over the time I’ve written for this site, I’ve noticed that, while most of my comic book reviews just wither in the shadows, movie reviews attract the most negative criticism. It’s evident that trolls thrive on movie reviews much in the same way I thrive in trollophagy. So… fine, bring it. Come AT ME, TROLLS!
I know it’s been 4 months since its release date in the US, but alas, there is no release date set for Mexico, so I had to wait until I got my paws on the DVD to finally enjoy it, and now I can’t keep my mouth shut about it.
Super kicked ass. I know everybody keeps comparing it to Kick-Ass, saying it’s just a vulgar remake of a controversial hero movie, but it’s not. Sure, Gunn has cited Millar’s Kick-Ass as inspiration for his film, but Super managed to shine in all the places where Kick-Ass disappointed.
Starting with an exactly zero-expectation handicap from the get-go, James Gunn managed to deliver a disturbing, twisted and extremely funny story; where psychosis, religious zealotry and a general feeling of hopelessness mingled and blended perfectly with a bleak reality comparable to Fargo. Yes, Fargo. The one that none of you get because you’re either too young or not stoned enough to marvel at the greatness of the Coen brothers. Kick-ass on the other hand, managed to turn an epic limited series that oozed zeitgeist from every page into a mediocre flick, perverting its very core to Lucasfilms levels (Why, Millar…. WHY?!).
For those of you living under a rock, Super deals with the misadventures of Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson), an irredeemable loser married to junkie Sarah (Liv Tyler). Sarah dumps Frank for her dealer Jacques (Kevin Bacon), so Frank embarks on a personal crusade of crime-fighting to win her back. Needless to say, (not-so) vulgar and violent shenanigans ensue, increasingly and disturbingly funnier as the film advances. And there’s Libby/Boltie (Ellen Paige), who makes up for not being Hit-Girl by being extra hot on a Lolita, feel-like-a-scumbag-after-you-admit-it kind of way. Boltie has anger management issues, as well as some weird fetishes you will be thankful that came on-screen.
Special effects are acceptable. You could consider them great, even, for an estimated budget of 2.5 million.
Characterization is awesome, making Frank’s quest plausible and even endearing at times; taking absurdity to Adam-West levels of campiness while maintaining a dark comedical tone that may not be suitable for all palates. And Kevin Bacon steals the whole thing, as usual, acting like the lovechild of Christoph Waltz and a jar of Ritalin. Did I mention Ellen Paige is hot? Because she is, so all your arguments are invalid.
And the music. It provided a seamless transition from depression to euphoria and it’s often as overlooked as Nathan Fillon’s contribution as the Holy Avenger. Tyler Bates may not have pulled an epic score out of his ass like he did in 300 and Watchmen, but you can definitely tell this is a man cut out to make heroes shine in your ears (I don’t care if that doesn’t make sense).
Don’t let box-office figures hold you back. Super is a rare jewel waiting to be found. Remember Fight Club sucked at theaters before becoming a cult classic on home video. This piece just needs to find a niche. Support Gunn, support independent studios, stick it to The Man and stop buying Happy-Meal equivalents of super hero movies. Otherwise, it’s Green Lantern all over the place for the foreseeable future.