Super

(2010)

Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Review: Super

Transcript for Review: Super

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Well, our next film also features a bunny though not in a lead role. It’s called SUPER, and it’s about a short order cook and a comic book store employee who team up to vent their frustrations by putting on super hero costumes and beating strangers into a bloody pulp. Rainn Wilson plays Frank. His wife Sarah, played by Liv Tyler, is a recovering drug addict who has just relapsed and left Frank for sleazeball Jacques, played by a smirking, skeletal Kevin Bacon.



/CLIP


IGNATIY:

After having a vision in which he is touched by the index finger of God, Frank decides to become a superhero, which in his case consists mostly of splitting people's heads open with a wrench. Eventually, he's joined by the aggressive Libby, played by Ellen Page.



[montage]

IGNATIY:

This pitch-black comedy is less of a superhero parody and more of a gory, pulpy thriller played for laughs. Sympathetic at first, Frank and Libby become more disturbing the longer they wear their suits. The writer / director, James Gunn, a veteran of the low-budget Troma studio, has made a cartoonish neo-noir that is both funny and unafraid to show the moral ugliness of its main characters. 

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
You mentioned the Troma connection here. This reminded me a lot of Shaun of the Dead.  In that that begins life as this very loving homage to zombie films and then slowly and steadily becomes a really serious and suspenseful zombie film.  This begins life as an homage to all of those vigilante superhero movies and then really becomes one.  It’s a very bloody, very violent film and it gets really dark and I like that about it.

IGNATIY:
Yeah, it’s very disquieting…you know at first it’s only the comedy that is discomforting, you know all of these social awkwardnesses, but really as this movie continues, it just becomes uncomfortable to watch the characters played by Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, especially Ellen Page.

CHRISTY:
Although I liked her a lot in this because it’s so different from what’s she’s known for.

IGNATIY:
No, she’s very good in it, but towards the end she kind of becomes this violent, sexual predator.

CHRISTY:
She does go crazy, she does, but I like that she’s geeky and kind of unabashed and really physical and kind of gawky.  She’s not the coolest chick in the room, the smartest chick in the room like she often is.  She’s just all over the place and conversely, Rainn Wilson best known for comedy, plays this deadly straight here and deadly serious and that’s funny in it’s own way.

IGNATIY:
Yeah, you know it is.  You know what this kind of reminds me of is a lot of the more misanthropic 50’s pulp thrillers like stuff from Jim Thompson, you know who’s work was adapted for The Killer Inside Me or David Goode and something along those lines.  I feel like it’s almost closer to a 50’s pulp novel than it is to a comic book.

CHRISTY:
And yet the ending is strangely hopeful.

IGNATIY:
Well, it’s the ending to Taxi Driver really.