Super

Super

49%

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Super Reviews

Page 1 of 107
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2011
Director James Gunn has a knack for making genre films that go outside of regular film conventions. With "Slither" he made an old time monster movie that coupled with horror and thrillers. Here he takes on the superhero milieu, and in the same way as "Kickass," easily subverts the traditional hero. While that film was more about teenaged angst and hardcore violence, "Super's protagonist is much darker, very prone to violence, and he definitely does not have his life in order. Frank (Wilson) is a very confused man who has his wife taken away from him by violent individuals who have drugged and re-addicted her to drugs. He has acted as her rock for so long that when she is powerless to even save herself, he jumps into action and takes on the unique catchphrase of "Shut up crime!" Frank has his own virtues and creed, but he oftentimes takes justice too far but without repercussion. Instead of finding the character repulsive and his actions incomprehensible, the film celebrates the blood and sometimes gore. Frank fights tooth and nail to save his wife, and his sacrifices, whether physical, mental, or emotional, are all brave and heartbreaking to watch. The film gets much darker when he takes on sidekick Boltie (Page), who has a violent streak that runs deeper than anything Frank could imagine. Her rage and lack of common sense seems to work well with his naiveté and need to crusade for justice. The film is also laced with black comedy, and it works well with what the film is. The relationship between Frank and Boltie is both obviously flawed and always entertaining. The action has some bloody battles, but what makes these scenes really interesting is how excited Frank is to burst into battle, and yet it's so painful and frightening for him. It's not just a film about bloodletting of course; it's also about a man who takes on everyone, to save the one person he has always protected.
Dr114
Dr114

Super Reviewer

July 23, 2013
This is such an under appreciated movie. It's not a dumb fun "what if a normal guy dressed in a suit and fought crime" like Kickass was. It's a tale of self-discovery and not only that but a disturbing yet funny look at morality and other themes. Rainn Wilson is perfectly cast in this movie as the well-meaning yet psychotic Frank Darbo (aka The Crimson Bolt). Also, the rest of the cast is great too. I thought Kevin Bacon was great as the bad guy. It's a very dark movie but at the same time very funny and entertaining. It gets you thinking "should I be rooting for this psychopath or should I be frightened?". It's a movie that makes you think and I believe the reason people disregard it so much is because they think it was going to be like Kickass. There is a lot more to it than that. Overall- An extremely underrated "superhero" movie that makes you laugh while making you feel emotional. I watched it twice and it was much better a second time. Letter Grade: A-
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

February 12, 2013
The Holy Avenger: All it takes to become a superhero is the choice to fight evil.

"Shut up, crime!"

Super is all in all a very fun, entertaining, and frequently funny film. For some reason I never hate anything that Rainn Wilson does. There's just something about his deadpan delivery that makes me laugh. Super isn't anything special. It lacks everything realistic, but it still manages to get a pass because of just how fun the whole film is. It's violent, it's vengeful, and it's glorious. It doesn't make it to the level of Kick-Ass, but it still manages to be a pretty good little film in its own right.

Franks wife up and leaves one day. She was an ex-junkie and alcoholic, but she left him for a high level drug dealer, played perfectly by Kevin Bacon. After mourning her absence for awhile, Frank gets a message from God that he should become a crime fighter. He takes the name Crimson Bolt and decides to start his vigilante career. It starts pretty weak, but with the help of a comic book store employee, Libby, he starts to get better. Soon, Libby teams up with him as Bolty and he has his sidekick. Now all he has to do is rescue his wife and take down anyone that tries to stop him.

The movie has its problems, like Frank never getting arrested even though there's this huge investigation going on. He drives around his own car with his license plates, but somehow all the witnesses never seem to see it. Whatever, I guess. Maybe it was God protecting him and that's what James Gunn was going to stick to. Real world though, Frank is out of commission about two weeks into his crime fighting career.

Super is worth a look if you like this new and upcoming sub genre. Kick-Ass was a great movie in my eyes, so I was really interested in watching this. It helps that it has such a great cast including the already mentioned Rainn Wilson and Kevin Bacon, but it also has Ellen Page as Libby/Bolty. She seemed to be the energy this movie needed and I really enjoyed her performance. All in all this was about as good as it could be. The writing could use a tuneup, but it still was a pleasure to watch.
Shawn E

Super Reviewer

March 21, 2011
"Shut Up, Crime!" A depressed failure who has lost his wife to the depths of evil decides to take justice into his own hands. The story of Frank a.k.a. The Crimson Bolt, is quite dark and realistic. The film is full of hilarious moments, but it also has the balls to throw dark and dramatic twists into the story. Both Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page's performances are absolutely amazing.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2012
After Defendor and Kick-Ass, this represents the third film (out of five) that I've seen to try its hand at the burgeoning subgenre of movies about ordinary people who try to become costumed vigilantes. And, while this isn't as dramatic as Defendor, or as well directed and executed as Kick-Ass, it scores major points for being the most subversive, ballsy, and risk taking of the three.

It's also not as good as the others overall, but is nevertheless an entertaining albeit polarizing film that really highlights the consequences of trying to fight crime without much training, and is probably the most realistic in this regard.

Frank is a sad sack loser who just coasts through his dull life as a short order cook. After his recoverign addict wife is willingly seduced by a slimy yet charming drug dealer named Jacques, he is inspired to take up the mantle of a costumed vigilante after supposedly having a divine vision inspired by a cheesy religious themed superhero show (a parody of the program Bibleman).

After a bit of comic book research, Frank dons a homemade costume, calls himself the Crimson Bolt, and, armed with a pipe wrench, sets out to fight crime and save his wife. Eventually he gets a sidekick in the form of comic book store employee Libby (under the name of Boltie), but her approach to thigns shows that she might be more unhinged than he thought, and that they're way in over their heads.

The film does deal with themes like the influence of religion on action, the aestheticization of violence, and the journey of self discovery, and while these are addresses and dealt with, the film seems to focus more on the pure visceral nature of things, and is more about the mayhem, dark, twisted humor, and shock moments (some of which are really effective, while others are just plain bizarre).

And despite this film being for a REALLY limited audience, it is enjoyable in a sick kind of way. The humor is really dark and perverse, and the film definitely earns points of being ballsy and risk taking without care. It helps that the performances are good too, and that the performers are trying instead of just phoning it in. Wilson is really good as Frank, and he makes for a believable protagonist. Liv Tyler is good as his vulnerable and insecure wife Sara, and Kevin Bacon is fine as the smarmy Jacques. Like with Kick-Ass, it's the female avenger who really steals the show here. I haven't seen Ellen Page this unsettling and psychotic since Hard Candy. The fact that this film is funny makes her work even more effective subversive and nutty. She seriously is marvelous as the perverse and nutty Libby/Boltie, and there's some really uncomfortable moments with her that just sing.

All in all, the film isn't probably as great as I'm making it out to be, mostly because I tend to be very forgiving and lenient with ratings and reviews, but I can't help it. This film does a lot right, and it's certainly not boring. Yeah, the morals are questionable, and the film primarily relies on the mayhem to carry things, but how often do you see a sexually provocative sidekick of a guy who beats people with a pipe wrench? The fact that the film is polarizing alone makes it worthy of viewing and discussing, so take that as some sort of recommendation.
Michael S

Super Reviewer

March 30, 2011
Hats off to James Gunn; he has made the most unpredictable of films in an increasingly common genre. What makes "Super" stand out is it's guts. It goes places you wouldn't expect to go and shows you things you NEVER expected to see (especially in a film like this). This and the fact it was marketed as a comedy will no doubt isolate most viewers. It's disturbing, graphic, unnerving, cringe-inducing,.. and in my opinion all the better for it.
Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

April 15, 2012
I watched the film with low expectations and they were met, surpassed, even. 'Super' is an uninteresting, annoying film that's full of flat characters and drags on for what certainly feels longer than 96 minutes. It is a shallow film, one that seems to have been written by young adolescents; it is wholly unimaginative and weak.

Essentially, it is yet another tired vigilante film, but with a rehashed, improbable superhero gimmick that makes the film even more tired. The film dabbles in themes of what it thinks is satire, drama and vigilantism, failing at all. In trying to make the film stand out from 'Kick Ass', it futilely turns the violence up a notch, the only benefit of this being the disposure of some of its highly irritating characters being satisfyingly grislier than expected.

Rainn Winston gives a humdrum performance as Frank D'Arbo, the nerd stock character every viewer is familiar with. One of the films few merits comes in the form of Kevin Bacon, who gives a fittingly slimy, ratty performance as small time criminal Jacques. Libby, played by Ellen Page, is one of the main problems of the film; her loud, androgynous and pathetically recalcitrant persona is utterly exasperating. When she becomes the Crimson Bolt's side kick, the film nose dives and quickly loses all credibility. Remarkably, the film becomes even worse in its final act.

After the deliberately strong and misplaced violence, the little character development and the general vapidity, the film ends with inappropriate and somewhat complacent melodrama. Suddenly, trying to justify its predictably weak ending, the narrator, who appears to know exactly what the unamused viewer is thinking of this conclusion, addresses the audience - 'Maybe you thought I was gonna learn that I was deluded, that I was as evil as the rest of them. But maybe you're the one that needs to learn something.' No, the viewer doesn't have to learn anything from this completely ludicrous, unbelievable ending that has just been compounded by maudlin nausea, the filmmakers are the ones that need to learn: how to make a decent film.

Avoid this film, watch Kick Ass instead, it's not perfect, but it's in a different league to 'Super'.
TomBowler
TomBowler

Super Reviewer

March 10, 2011
Very, very strange but with a strong message behind it. Full review later.
Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2012
Cult films are by their very nature divisive. They often fail commercially because they divided audiences or were impossible to sell to the mainstream. For however many cult films we reviewers embrace, using our personal preference to somehow cement their status, there are plenty of others which meet all the criteria of cult status regardless of our opinions.

In the last few months I've highlighted several films which meet all the cult film criteria but fail to personally make the grade - films like Shock Treatment, Big Trouble in Little China, and Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. The latest addition to this list is Super, a film which will leave you completely schizophrenic. You will tie yourself up in knots trying to work out whether or not you like it, whether or not it means anything, and ultimately whether or not it works. The answers I have settled on, at least thus far, are: not really, possibly, and no.

Comparisons have been drawn between Super and Kick-Ass, with the former being perceived as a rip-off of the latter when first released. Both films explore the idea of ordinary people deciding to become superheroes, and struggling to compensate for their lack of powers. Both have distinctive visual styles, which take the comic book format to different kinds of violent and sexually charged extremes. And both, as you might expect, didn't exactly flatten the box office (though Kick-Ass did take money).

It's often the case in filmmaking that two similar projects will be developed at the same time, and with Super and Kick-Ass this is no exception. Mark Millar, creator of the Kick-Ass comics, has publicly defended James Gunn from accusations of plagiarism, going so far as to screen Super at the Kapow! comic convention in London. It is likely that Kick-Ass got better distribution because of the credentials of its production team: the selling power of Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, who collaborated on Stardust, outweighs that of a Troma graduate who directed Slither.

You have to applaud Super and Gunn for the sheer alacrity of its vision. It may not sound like the greatest compliment, but this film could only have been made by someone who was slightly deranged. No-one could accuse Gunn of chickening out or softening the edges, either in plot details or the extent of the violence. Where Kick-Ass was a top-end 15, depicting comic-book violence in a dark setting, Super is an 18 through and through, being much more realistic and much more brutal.

For the gorehounds among us, there is enough head-cracking violence in Super to satisfy anyone. While Kick-Ass had many moments of wince-inducing pain, this rivals Kill List as one of the most explicitly violent films in recent memory. Gunn's Troma background is evident in the use of old-fashioned make-up and prosthetics (to good effect), and the extremes to which he takes the action: if someone gets hit in the head with a monkey wrench, it's likely that their head will split in two. Gunn goes way over-the-top, but you have to applaud him for at least having the guts to go that far.

But while Super may tick all the boxes in terms of violent spectacle, it falls short of the standards set by Kick-Ass for one simple reason. Kick-Ass knew from the start what it wanted to be and stuck with it. It still managed to be a fun, blackly comic and damn exciting film, but you felt grounded in Vaughn and Millar's creative vision. Super constantly unseats you, lurching in tone from scene to scene, so you don't know whether you're watching a college humour parody with good production values, an exercise in moral hypocrisy on a par with Cecil B. De Mille, or a dark and subversive comedy about real people dealing with jealousy.

There are individual images in Super which seem completely misjudged, in isolation or in whatever context they find themselves. Early on there is a hentai sequence on TV of a young girl being sexually assaulted by a giant squid... I could make a joke about whatever floats one's boat, but frankly that just doesn't seem right. Later on our main character imagines the prospect of going to jail - and pictures being raped in the showers by a fat elderly man.

Oddest of all is the scene where Frank (Rainn Wilson) throws up in the toilet, and the vomit reforms into the face of his kidnapped wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) whom he has sworn to rescue. Scenes like this have a similar effect to the cut-away jokes in Family Guy: occasionally they are funny, or amusingly bizarre, but they have no narrative coherence and end up throwing what little plot there is completely off-balance.

When I reviewed Bad Lieutenant some months ago, I spoke in detail about the ethics of depicting rape in such a full-on manner. Abel Ferrara gets it right, if such a phrase is remotely appropriate, by characterising rape as something utterly hideous and repulsive. Assuming that Gunn agrees with this - and we have no reason to doubt him - he hasn't mastered giving this impression in his films. Of the two rape scenes in Super (discounting the shower scene), only one has the desired effect of repulsing the viewer. With Boltie's rape of the Crimson Bolt, we're uncertain whether we should be turned on, repulsed or confused, and so we end up with an unsettling mix of all three.

All of which brings us back to the central question with Super: does it really know what it is doing? It is a deeply conflicted film, with even the meaning of its title up for grabs. Sometimes it wants to be taken literally - 'super' as a realistic glorification of the life a super-hero could lead if he or she had a sufficiently warped moral compass. Sometimes it wants to be ironic - 'super' as the life of a vigilante being anything but, taking the glamorised comic version of events and showing how awful life would be if they was replicated. I'd like to think the latter was mostly true, but somehow this feels like I am giving Gunn more credit than he deserves.

The dubious morality of Super is a big problem, which cannot be entirely solved by Kick-Ass' arguments about violence and satire. The early scenes which poke fun at Christian comics are fair game, even if it is a rather soft target. But then Super does a complete volte-face, as Frank's crime-fighting becomes a serious spiritual calling. The satirical intentions are in there somewhere, but the film ends up like the Biblical epics of Cecil B. De Mille, condoning all manner of horrible things on the grounds that God will turn up at the end to deliver the moral. Whether you're offended or enticed by Gunn's views on religion, the ending is a mawkish disappointment.

The cast of Super do their best and manage to convince within the world of the film. Perhaps the greatest strength of the film is that everyone involved believes in the project, even if they are unsure exactly what they believe in. It may seem inconceivable that Rainn Wilson could have married Liv Tyler, but both are plausible characters in their own right, even if the latter has little to do. Kevin Bacon chews the scenery as Jacques, delivering a performance every bit as seedy as his work on Where The Truth Lies. And Ellen Page proves her determination not to be pigeonholed, turning in another scene-stealing performance (if often for the wrong reasons).

There are so many contradictions within Super, which even after much dissection remains a psychotic little bundle of a film. There is so much to admire or appreciate that all its flaws prey on one's mind - and yet so many obvious problems that its positives feel like oases of brilliance in a desert of misjudgement. The only sensible conclusion is that the film just doesn't work, and that the only reason which can be agreed upon is its rampantly uneven tone. The need to defend it remains, but is at least tempered by recognition of its failings.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2012
I've only just realised that it was that James Gunn of Troma fame that directed it and now it all makes a little bit more sense. I still didn't really like it though. Never before has a really wonderful scene been followed by such an horrific one. For me, Super misses the mark spectacularly - never quite being a comedy, never quite being a serious drama. I'm not sure it wanted to be taken too seriously but then again, it really wasn't very funny. There is a lot I love about it but equally there is a lot I hate about it. It's somewhere between Kick-ass and Defendor but not as good as either with Defendor coming out on top by a clear mile in my opinion. I'm right down the middle on this one.
thefog1331
thefog1331

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2011
A quirky off the wall black comedy-action film with heart--as twisted as it is. A lot of people will be turned off by it's constant directional change in style but those who are already fans of director Gunn and oddball filmmaking will find some truly wonderful performances from every one involved as well as some dark albeit goofy plot developments. Personally I found it better than the similarly themed Kick Ass.
Matt G

Super Reviewer

February 16, 2011
An unparalleled amount of fun from start to finish.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

December 13, 2011
During the year of 2011, I just didn't have the chance to go out and see too many films on the big screen... I didn't see too many during 2010 either. Had I ventured out to see something, I would hope that I would have picked Super. Given to me by my editor a couple of months ago, I finally got around to watching (I have piles of movies lying around to watch) and I found it to be a bit of a masterpiece. It had a couple of things going against it for me so I didn't think I'd be all that enthused with it. First of all, I don't like The Office and I'm not really that familiar with its cast and second, I tend to not like Ellen Page. Those two things weren't a problem for me though because they both give absolutely terrific performances, and Ellen Page is, dare I say, sexy in this film. Just saying that it's a superhero parody film is an insult to me - it's so much more than that, and I urge everyone to go out and see it right away.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

June 28, 2011
I like Rain Wilson, but this movie just didn't do it for me. I feel like this movie tried to be several types of movies, and as a result was the poorer for it. Too violent to be funny, too goofy to be drama, too lame to be a cult hit. Not a badly done movie...just a movie that didn't quite hit the mark for me.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

March 30, 2011
Sort of like Watchmen's weird emo-cousin. Great performances from the entire cast. Page is particularly brave in her choices.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

April 14, 2011
Shut up, crime!

Super is an awesome film, and one whose dark humor never truly overtakes it. If you like Kick Ass your gonna probably enjoy this one too. Wilson and Page are amazing in their roles, and the rest of the supporting cast does a great job backing them up. I just hope everyone can experience and have as much fun as I did. Warning: this film contains some very explicit violent scenes including which are very inappropriate for kids so parents please read this and avoid for your kids to watch this film. Thanks


In the outlandish dark comedy 'SUPER', James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes.

When sad-sack loser Frank (Rainn Wilson) sees his ex-addict wife (Liv Tyler) willingly snatched by a seductive drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), he finds himself bereft and wholly unable to cope. But soon he decides to fight back under the guise of a DIY superhero called Crimson Bolt. With a hand-made suit, a wrench, and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page), the Crimson Bolt beats his way through the mean streets of crime in hopes of saving his wife The rules were written a long time ago: You are not supposed to molest children, cut lines or key cars; if you do, prepare to face the wrath of the Crimson Bolt!
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

July 11, 2010
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Andre Royo, Sean Gunn, Stephen Blackehart, Linda Cardellini, Nathan Fillion

Director: James Gunn

Summary: When his wife (Liv Tyler) falls in league with a drug dealer, average guy Frank D'Arbo (Rainn Wilson) dons the guise of a superhero, dubs himself the Crimson Bolt and tries to keep a tagalong comic-book store clerk (Ellen Page) from becoming his sidekick. But it's hard to be a superhero when all you've got to work with is a pipe wrench.

My Thoughts: "I found 'Super' to be as dark and depressing as I thought it would be as it is a dark comedy. Unfortunately the movie is missing the comedy part. I think I may have laughed once or twice, but that was it. The film has a lot of unnecessary violence. The character's are somewhat interesting but at times also quite boring. Rainn Wislon is a funny man, just not in this movie. Although I do love Ellen Page, she seems to continue to keep playing these odd quirky character's lately which makes her seem like she has no depth which I know to be untrue seeing some of her early work as evidence of that. I'd like to see her in some more dramatic roles. The film was just OK for me."
Martin B

Super Reviewer

May 3, 2011
SHUT UP, CRIME!

full review soon...
Pedro H

Super Reviewer

March 8, 2011
Shut up, crime!

Superb

This is a funny-hyperactive-stupid movie. With an amusing cast, director, and story line Super is engagingly and fun. Although people might say it lacks originality, I disagree- because although it may seem to be a more adult version of "Kick Ass" it still has its own special indie touch to it that other movies like "Kick Ass" itself omissions.

Frank (Wilson) is a loser in life; one day he discovers that the only thing he lives for- his wife Sarah (Tyler)- leaves him for a drug dealer Jacques (Bacon). In the midsts of Frank's depression, he has a vision, one from a catholic super hero- The Holy Avenger (Filion)- that says that he should become a super hero and fight evil in order to get his loved one back. The movie follows Frank's attempt to fight crime as the Crimson Bolt along with his hyperactive side kick Boltie (Page). Will constant laugh out loud moments, and dripping with stupidity, this is one the years best comedy plot-lines.

From the minute they were together in the first scene of Juno, as Juno and Rollo, Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page had a phenomenal bond. With their unique sense of humor and their amazing acting skills, they are both able to pull out two of the coolest super heroes. Every scene that they are on, I couldn't help but to smile and prepare myself for laughter. Besides these two grandiose actors, there is still Tyler who remains beautiful as always, and Bacon, who lately has been getting great at this crazy bad guy role.

Although James Gunn is a hard director to like, because he ends up doing good and bad movies at the same time; this by far is his best work. He really takes the independent style to this movie and adds his own little goofy sense to the movie, that makes it super duper violent, and super duper dumb. But these two things are actually great and work out perfectly together.

For it being an indie film it worked out great, It has great music, great shots and photography, and a great script. The lines in this movie are super funny but somehow very meaningful. Overall, I highly recommend this movie, some might thing of it as a "Kick Ass" rip off, but others might forget their similarities and enjoy it like me.

The Holy Avenger: "All it takes to become a superhero is the choice to fight evil."
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