0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Another excellent entry into the burgeoning 'loser becomes superhero' mini-genre,
This review is from: Super [DVD]  (DVD)
Whilst this movie has been compared to Mark Millar's Kick-Ass, it doesn't have a lot in common with it, bearing more coincidental similarity to the excellent Special and Defendor (the similarities being coincidental because James Gunn has been nursing this pet project for around a decade, since around the time he and his brother were involved with the similarly excellent The Specials-- indeed the only similar film that pre-dates Gunn's script is the oft-forgotten Hero at Large). Whilst Kick Ass purported to ask the question 'what would happen if someone really tried to be a superhero?', it instead started as a spoof on Raimi's Spider-Man movies, before morphing into fairly standard super-hero power-fantasy, albeit spiced up with the addition of a 13-year-old potty-mouthed assassin that chewed up the scenery and stole the movie.
Super also has it's deranged female sidekick, but Ellen Page's unhinged take on 'Boltie' compliments the outstanding Rainn Wilson --who plays the Crimson Bolt-- without completely stealing the show (probably due to the fact that both lead characters are borderline personality-disorder types with psychotic issues). Indeed the ensemble cast are excellent, with Gunn roping in Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Gregg Henry, and Michael Rooker, to flesh out a very low budget movie.
It's lack of a big budget is actually a bonus and helps set the really underground vibe of the movie (and the tone is set right from the animated credits, perhaps the most fun I have ever had with a credit sequence). While this movie might seem like it's interested in asking all those post-Watchmen deconstruction questions about what 'real superheroes' would be like, Gunn doesn't play it like this at all. In fact, this movie feels more like a really twisted ritalin-powered fairytale, and at points reminded me of the sort of excrutiatingly cringing humor of The Foot Fist Way crossed with Taxi Driver. Super clips along at a fast pace and is punctuated by brutal violence, but its tongue remains firmly in its cheek as cartoon 'pows' overlay a fair chunk of the carnage (a la the 1960s Adam West Batman). Gunn even manages to hint at a bit of character development for the main characters in amongst the carnage without turning the movie into a saccharine-sweet hollywood morality tale, (and he wedges in a bit of a religious subtext as well).
All in all, if you like bubblegum-pop gonzo movies that burst at the seams with ideas, and aren't put off by the occasional explosion of extreme brutality, then Super is highly recommended.