Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Super [2011]

Frank’s wife leaves him – eliminating one of the two perfect moments in his life. The other perfect moment? Well, that was helping a cop stop a bad guy. Since, the person his wife left him for is an actual bad guy – Frank knows what he has to do... He becomes the Crimson Avenger and starts fighting crime!

This movie was so much better than I expected it to be. Grounded in some real emotional issues – and mourning for the loss of his wife – Frank as a character was wonderfully well written. As portrayed by Rainn Wilson – and already having a familiarity of him as Dwight on the US version of The Office – Frank is only a short leap from Dwight. Less arrogant – but with that equal and unwavering allegiance to what he believes is right and wrong. He carries the depressing parts without taking us too far down with him and has a way with the humor of the story that allows it to be present but not distracting from the story.

The other characters were strictly secondary – I’m trying to pin point scenes that Frank wasn’t in – and there’s not many. It’s the story of Frank – and though they got top notch actors to fill in the remaining roles – Rainn really carried the film.

Ellen Page as the comic book nerd girl, Libby – was portrayed with a ton of enthusiasm – a great performance by Ellen one of her best. Kevin Bacon as the bad guy – was fun, grimy and menacing. Liv Tyler always seems half asleep to me – and continued her tradition – but I didn’t care. The cast was rounded out with James Gunn’s buddies Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker from SLITHER – they both pulled a little scene stealing in their roles – which was fun.

James Gunn as a director is pretty good – I get the feeling that he gets story structure enough that you could give him what’s essentially an effects film and we can get a pretty grounded story out of it. SUPER was done on a low budget – so the effect shots were mostly done on screen – the good old fashioned way with pyrotechnics and exploding mannequins and models. Yes, there’s some CGI – but according to the ‘making of’ – those were added to sculpted models to base everything in reality – and it works great.

It’s too easy to compare this film to KICK-ASS – but that’s not really fair. KICK-ASS even though it’s the same concept (why hasn’t anyone slapped on a costume and started fighting crime) – is NOT based in reality. It’s a fantasy version of reality – the lead character in KICK-ASS starts out getting beaten up to the point he has major nerve damage – thus his “powers” are to take a beating – not eating out of a straw (like it should be). In SUPER, Frank has no “powers” – just a wrench which he beats people in the head with – that’s probably enough in reality.

I love the leaps this movie takes - all of which I won’t mention – because I recommend this movie – it’s got an ‘all in’ attitude. It’s grounded in reality – with real emotions, real motivations and the reality of these people’s choices. I find it hard to believe that I hadn’t mentioned it until now – but this movie is a comedy – and it’s damn funny! I laughed out loud several times – which is a compliment – as I generally smirk through comedies.

I blind purchased this one on Blu-Ray because it was only $13 brand new on release date – and it’s one of the best blind purchases I’ve made of a movie. The extras were okay – a standard couple of “machining of’s” and a 5-minute featurette of Rainn and Ellen at a film festival dressed as their heroes running around acting silly. For as much as you can pack onto a Blu-Ray – I wanted more – but it doesn’t matter – the movie is what I bought it for. And it was a great movie!

1 comment:

  1. I saw this recently and really dug it (I'm a sucker for dark comedy, and this was pitch black). I laughed a ton.