Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Super (2010), dir. James Gunn

The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie.

I’m not entirely sure what kind of movie Super intends to be. I am not sure of its motives, and I’m surely not sure of its message. Its intent is lost on me. And despite the fact that I enjoyed many separate parts of it, the whole of the movie made me feel uneasy. I have suspicions that the movie is meant to make me feel this way, to which I say: “Mission accomplished!”

There is the story here of a borderline schizophrenic named Frank who decides to fight evil after his life is turned upside down (he’s only had two perfect moments in his life: one of them the wedding of his sweetheart, and the other assisting in the apprehension of a criminal). His wife leaves him (kidnapped?) for Jacques (“Jock”) and Frank decides to get her back by fighting evil. The problem is that he is delusional and his choice of villains is sometimes correct (pedophiles/perverts) and sometimes not (people who butt in line).

Ellen Page plays Libby, a girl afflicted by a different kind of crazy who is attracted to the delusional Frank for all the wrong reasons. Together they try to become a real superhero duo, but their delusions bring them into all sorts of trouble. I don’t wish to spoil too many of the antics they get into but I will say that they don’t spend much time fighting real crime. It’s almost as if the message of the movie is that you can’t fight real crime and that although certain jerkoffs can annoy you in real life by butting in line or keying a friend’s car, they don’t deserve to be hit in the head with a wrench.

I have mixed feelings overall. I liked parts of this movie very much. But the whole is much less than the sum of its parts. Perhaps I took this silly movie too seriously. I don’t think it is bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I can’t imagine watching it again. Or if I do watch it again, I can’t imagine being sober for a second viewing.


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