Super


SXSW Film Review

Super

Director & Writer: James Gunn
In this outlandish dark comedy, James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes.
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker (U.S. Premiere)

WHO’S IT FOR?: Anyone curious about watching Dwight Schrute from “The Office” fight crime with a wrench should take the risk of stepping up to Super. The dark, dark, dark comedy may not be for everyone, but its near perfect for any of its specific audiences. It was a perfect film to play at the non-Telluride or the non-Sundance SXSW Film Festival.

OVERALL

Rainn Wilson takes a wrench to the face of superhero movies with writer-director James Gunn’s greatly violent and extremely irreverent Super. Ellen Page, aka the fast-talking title character of Juno joins Wilson in the hilarious chaos of the film, delivering a bouncy-ball performance that is enamored with superheroes and the violence they can create. Though Wilson’s “superhero” identity as the “Crimson Bolt” along Page’s “Bolty” come a year after Kick-Ass, Gunn’s Super is a film more deserving of that distinguishing title.

“Fighting” “crime” (such as people who cut in line, for example) in a world that Troma’s The Toxic Avenger could very easily be stalking around also, Super’s “crusader” is one delusional creature, played fantastically by Rainn Wilson, who is bound to have another cult role to speak for. Wilson understands the extreme tones of the movie and meets them head-on, offering a surprisingly labored performance that utilizes a whole effective emotional pallet. The same actor that can make people laugh from his violent craziness also succeeds in being equally magnetic in weepy emotional scenes that can be taken extremely serious. Always, however, he’s crazy. Wilson can play so many different shades of that word.

The violence, or dare I say the entertainment appeal of Super, is armed to the teeth with over-the-top shocking moments that might make you gasp before laughing out loud. Its violence is bloody and blunt, spurring from the most ridiculous situations, and sometimes refusing to have an off-switch. Irreverence runs free in Super, especially when the film tackles a religious subplot, all the while defying any expectations that this is just another wacky superhero movie. It’s much more than that – if there’s even anything super heroic about this superbly messed up movie at all.

FINAL SCORE: 8/10

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