Director: James Gunn
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime
Runtime: 96 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
What if Napoleon Dynamite (2004) had actually been an R-rated vigilante movie? The superhero comedy Super from 2010 channels the same quirky energy that the 2004 picture does. In it, possibly schizophrenic fry cook Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson) decides to become a costumed superhero named the Crimson Bolt after his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) runs away with a drug lord named Jacques (Kevin Bacon).
This uproariously funny film is a vicious satire of the comic book movie subgenre. It takes a what-if-superheroes-existed-in-the-real-world? approach to the subject matter that echoes that of the two Kick-Ass flicks. For my money, Super does it much better. Hilarious one minute and disturbingly violent the next, this feature’s Blu Ray case has two quotes from the critics that bring up the word “subversive,” so don’t expect your typical action movie.
Well, Super isn’t much of an action film at all. Yes, it has some of that sort of stuff, but most of the picture focuses on guffaws and grisly carnage that doesn’t really take place in an “action” context. The finale should satisfy the action buffs out there, though. With its transgressive behavior, this could be seen as the Taxi Driver (1976) of the superhero movie generation (or does Joker  fit that description?).
This film split the critics right down the middle, but I think of it quite highly. It nails the black comedy and the violence is both cathartic and unnerving. Here are a couple of fun facts: Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast to play the villain, Jacques, and one movie that the main character watches on television is Troma’s War (1988), another ultra-violent comedy you should watch if you like this sort of entertainment.
My rating is 8 outta 10.