Get out your tights and wrenches! We're reviewing Super!
|That's right Crime, you heard him.|
There's no other way of putting this. Super is a really effed up movie. It's Kick-Ass on crazy pills. Think about that for a second. This takes the "realistic and gritty" superhero story to it's extreme. It is easily the most realistic superhero film you will ever see.
Frank (Rainn Wilson) is a mild mannered fry cook, enjoying his happy life with his wife, Sarah (Liv Tyler), when she leaves him for a drug dealer (Kevin Bacon). He starts getting religious visions and dream advice from this Christian tv superhero, the Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion), and decides to become the first real-life superhero, the Crimson Bolt, in order to rescue his wife from said drug dealer.
This movie is just, wow...batshit insane. It will be silly one minute and brutally gory the next. The weird thing is how well it fits together. This is not a guy who instantly knows how to fight and only beats up bad guys. He swings a wrench at people who do things he considers to be bad (robbery, child molestation...cutting in line) and gives his victims massive, bleeding concussions. Everyone thinks he's a raving lunatic and they may not be too far off. He has religious visions that include angels and tentacles, and he changes into his costume in the back of his car, where people can clearly see him. It encapsulates perfectly how deranged someone would have to be to go out and take the law into their own hands.
And then there's Ellen Paige's character, Libby, who takes on the sidekick role as Boltie. While Frank has a purpose and, at the very least, a sense of right and wrong, she's just a kid who wants to beat the shit out of people. Whenever she's in the field, she's cackling with laughter at her enemies like a crazy person. It's incredibly interesting how they take a look at the sidekick complex, putting such a young person on the battlefield and even the sexual tension between hero and sidekick. Rainn Wilson is perfect as Frank (it's hilarious to hear him spout his mantra of "SHUT UP, CRIME!"), Ellen Paige is silly and sadistic, and even Kevin Bacon is fun.
I have to compare this with Kick-Ass because, even though it has the same tone, the movie Kick-Ass takes a much more Hollywood approach. If you read the comic, you know he doesn't get the girl and he's still kind of a dork at the end, unlike in the movie where everything is tied up nicely. In Super, things don't turn out as well, realistically speaking. Things happen not as you'd expect them to happen in a movie, but as you'd expect them to happen in real life. It's a really fitting end for the movie. You're wondering throughout whether he's insane or a hero, and though the end settles it, Super is still a fun, strange ride.
THE GOOD: Silly and bloody, the most realistic superhero movie to date.
THE BAD: Incredibly fucked up, may not be for everyone.
OVERALL: I'd recommend picking it up. It's fun and really, really messed up, but a realistic take on the superhero myth.
ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: Frank is waiting in line for a movie when some jerk cuts in front. Everyone complains and Frank sneaks away to his car to change into his Crimson Bolt costume. People can clearly see him in his underwear through the car window. Even when he comes back, the line-cutter comments on how obvious it is that he just walked away and came back, and then Frank bludgeons him in the head with his wrench, as well as his lady friend. Instead of people applauding, they scream and run for their lives while the line-cutter sits, holding his bloody head wound. That's what a real-life superhero would be like.