Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama


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October 06, 2011 at 04:43 PM



Linda Cardellini as Pet Store Employee
Liv Tyler as Sarah
Ellen Page as Libby
Kevin Bacon as Jacques
649.29 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 26

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by edgarman1040 7 / 10

Super is super realistic...and super dark

With a recent emergence of superhero movies aiming to be grittier and more realistic, Super is arguably the most accurate portrayal of what would happen if someone without powers or insane amounts of money decided to be a superhero. It would require a strict devotion to doing what YOU believe is right. There is, of course, almost always a level of ambiguity among superhero stories. Batman is considered by some to be a menace who if ever caught would most likely be charged with assault and breaking and entering, among other offenses. But he decides to be a vigilante because he sees injustice and wishes to fight it. He believes that what he is doing is right. Similarly, Rainn Wilson's character Frank becomes tired of standing idly by after his wife Sarah, portrayed by Liv Tyler is taken away by the slick and dangerous Jacques, played by Kevin Bacon. Frank intends to get his wife back and stop crime in his neighborhood. But as soon as Frank dons a costume and a monkey wrench as his weapon of choice, his mental well-being quickly comes into question. After all, what kind of person would strike someone in the head with a wrench, thus sending him to the ICU, for cutting in line at the movies? Is he psychotic? Is he deluded? Frank argues that it's actually everyone else who is deluded. What if we're the ones with a problem. After all, most of us witness the injustices and evils of this world and simply accept them as facts of life. We tell ourselves that nothing can be done about them and continue with our lives. Frank however knows what is right, even if that truth is only in his heart. The film earns it's R rating with massive amounts of graphic violence and a particularly strange sex scene. While Kick-Ass already tackled similar subject matter, Super takes a different approach. While Hit-Girl had weapons and combat training, Frank a.k.a. The Crimson Bolt and Libby a.k.a. Boltie (Ellen Page) have no experience at all and have nothing but rage and a penchant for violence to help them stop the bad guys. Additionally, Super begs the questions: Are the protagonists defenders of justice or psychopathic killers? Can they be both? While Kick-Ass had Joan Jett's Bad Reputation playing during Hit-Girl's butchering of a group of criminals, Super doesn't always portray our heroes' actions in such a cheery light. In order to save Frank's wife, The Crimson Bolt and Boltie need to be murders. They don't have the money or skill to develop sophisticated weaponry that will incapacitate their opponents. They don't have that luxury. They will gather whatever crude weapons they have in order to exact justice on those who escape the law. And if that makes them crazy, then so be it.

Reviewed by Movie_Muse_Reviews 7 / 10

Likely to divide opinion with its multitude of genres, "Super" will become a cult fave

The superhero film craze has led to a lot of ordinary main characters taking justice into their own hands. In that sense, nothing will strike you as original about "Super," the latest film from James Gunn ("Slither") and one made on a shoestring budget. Rainn Wilson stars as Frank, a man who loses his cool when a drug kingpin (Kevin Bacon) steals away his wife (Liv Tyler). After having a vision in which his brain is quite literally "touched by the finger of God," Frank decides to create his own superhero, the Crimson Bolt, a force against all that is evil in the world, or at least the small town he lives in.

Much like last year's "Kick-Ass," which re-examined superhero tropes using unlikely and subversive heroes, "Super" specializes in being deliberately perverse and relishes in the violation of genre expectation. James Gunn's film is foul, hilarious, real and campy all at different times. The film's disapproving critics will undoubtedly argue that down-to-earth characters and a gritty context cannot coexist with excessive, comical violence. Gunn likely believes that these two universes can be reconciled into one film, but nevertheless, the film delivers roaring entertainment with surprising moments of poignancy despite being a complete brain-scrambler.

"Super" begins like a typical narrated indie comedy. It portrays Frank as a bit of a dreamer, a slightly unrealistic person with a slight but charming naivete. He finds oddly religious sources of inspiration to become a hero, such as the Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion), a made-up TV superhero used to promote Christian messages to children. Although Gunn brings Frank's overactive imagination to life, the film stays grounded in its "real person seriously considers being a superhero" concept. As Frank's world comes crashing down, we develop a definitive sense of pity and support his revenge fantasy. Then Gunn blows the lid open.

First off, the Crimson Bolt's weapon of choice is a pipe wrench. It seems goofy and kind of silly at first, but then he's actually bashing people over the head with a pipe wrench until they're bleeding and/or unconscious. Eventually, sweet lovable frank becomes a morally ambiguous hero, especially after he decides to teach the guy who butted in line at the movie theater a thing or two. This certainly makes "Super" a more complicated film, but it also creates a definite discomfort. Enter Ellen Page as the over-zealous comic book shop girl who inserts herself into the equation as Frank's kid sidekick Boltie. She not only attempts to seduce Frank, but she has an even more unrealistic notion of the violence she seeks to create. Together, they serve as a catalyst for the black comedy elements and the campy gore.

Both Wilson and Page push themselves in positive ways with their roles. Page leaves her dry wit comfort zone for some outrageous antics and Wilson shows some range with Frank's emotional side. Their radically different notions of what being a superhero is about leads to great hilarity and disturbing conflict.

Gunn chooses to sacrifice communicating the great depth of these characters by violating viewer expectation with the violence. Some of the gore stays realistic but uncomfortable while other deaths go over the top. The inconsistencies jar the tone of the film and suggest to the audience that they should take the film more or less seriously depending. It can become very difficult to remain engaged in the character sub-plots and the script's other strengths with this distraction. The other issue is the lack of realism with Frank being able to pull of his superhero. He drives around with his own license plates, for example and does a terrible job of concealing his identity. For a film that chooses to create down-to-earth characters, it becomes a bit hypocritical to ignore obvious truths.

Yet the fun, the humor, the strength of character and the way Gunn challenges thematic notions raised by most superhero films definitely elevates "Super" in a way that suggests its future will be as "cult favorite" as opposed to "lauded superhero spoof." The way it toys so carelessly with realism and cartoony realism makes the ride a bit bumpy, but judging it purely on entertainment value it's a hilariously good time. One simply must be able to reconcile its various genre elements in order to remain engaged in Gunn's unique and well-intentioned story that deconstructs our previously unquestioned love of superheroes.

~Steven C

Reviewed by crazy-ben66 10 / 10

Don't molest kids! Molest minds.

On 2nd April 2002, a 50 page script (originally written as a short) born from the creatively messed up mind of James Gunn flourished into the world. Entitled 'SUPER' (deliberately all in capitals) the film was destined to be a personal homage to the early comic-books Gunn had grown up with as a child, combined with the sincerely twisted Troma films he had worked on whilst first touching down in the movie business. What remains today, 8 years later, is both a darkly sarcastic tale of personal justice, and a horrifically funny look at the every-man, melting together to form a rather obscure and perversely convoluted masterpiece of independent cinema.

Destined to be likened to the recent features of late such as Matthew Vaughn's 'Kick-Ass', 'SUPER' stands alone, successful in its conquest to both alienate the viewer, and twist their perceptions of justice and doing the right thing. Whereas 'Kick-Ass' longed to be gritty and satanic in its approach, it only appeared so through the hazy goggles of Hollywood, never fully commanding the realistic ambiance that sits so gracefully at the centre of 'SUPER'. Gunn's unique and devoutly crooked approach is so confident and gracious in its presentation, every-shot though tremendously rough, settles calmly into the film, reflecting Darbo's genuine feelings that he's not actually doing anything wrong. The film, although simple in its set-up, truly digs in under the skin of what is right and wrong and who decides, toying with religion and depression and other serious affairs along the way; whilst also juggling sociopathic violent outbursts and superbly perverted comedy.

Although fantastically scripted, the heart of 'SUPER' belongs to the frankly outstanding cast. Rainn Wilson's astounding central performance as mopey Frank and his demented alter-ego frantically shakes the viewer throughout, tearing the words directly from the page with emotional and personal flair, allowing him to be both despondently bitter and broken, as well as painfully hilarious at exactly the same time. Strong support is held up by Kevin Bacon's "interesting" villain Jacques, as suavely bold and sophisticated as modern drug dealers come, with his team of bumbling accomplices making troublingly comic targets. Liv Tyler drifts sweetly and innocently into the backdrop of Frank's crusade as his angelic wife Sarah, but the show-stealing Ellen Page dives straight in front as the sadistically adorable Libby, later becoming Darbo's sidekick Boltie. Her fearlessly pushy and exaggerated enthusiasm for bloody violence is both utterly hysterical and painfully sinister, although never drifting to the dark-side of the audience's perception, despite her adversely psychotic attacks on "crime". Even the cameos from the likes of 'Slither' star Nathan Fillion (among others) are marvellously acted and well placed, providing constant hilarity for Gunn fans and others alike.

Due to the tiny budget (roughly $2 million) and limited shooting schedule, visually 'SUPER' can be noticed to be rather dim in places, luckily salvaged by the hauntingly humorous use of onomatopoeic graphics (Bam, Boom, Splat, etc.) and truly fragrant soundtrack, in particular Tyler Bates' chirpy yet thoughtful scoring.

Viciously funny, sadistically adorable and hilariously heart-felt, 'SUPER' is bound to be one of the most original, unique and darkly comic films you will ever have the privilege to lay eyes on. It won't be to everybody's taste, some welcoming the extreme violence and sickening comedy, others not, but it will certainly open up your mind to look beyond the face value of justice and is sure to blur your perceptions of right and wrong beyond recognition.

What exists beyond the colourful spandex and bloody smears is a truly heart-wrenching and unpredictably grim portrait of the 21st century peppered with love and laughter, making 'SUPER' the most beautifully honest and ambitiously passionate vigilante tale to ever grace the eyes of the public. Treat it with care and a thoughtful mind, this is not your average gore- fest, 'SUPER' is an engrossingly real and overlooked gem, so original yet commemorative in its approach. Rubbing shoulders with the heavy-weight blockbusters of 2011 won't allow it to fare well financially, but 'SUPER' is a fresh and poignant escape from the dark depths of the Hollywood explosion-fest and should be endured by all those who seek excellent filmmaking. Shut up, crime!

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