Think you’ve seen every superhero movie there is to see? Think you know what a subversive comic book movie looks like? Well unless you’ve seen “Super,” you are sorely mistaken.
“We are just about at full saturation when it comes to superhero movies; there are at least five major blockbusters coming out this summer based on comic books (and a sixth summer movie based on a toyline that was turned into a comic book, cartoon series, animated movie, dishware, bedsheets, lunchboxes, Trapper Keepers, etc.), more major superhero movies are coming in 2012, and we’ve even had our first R-rated superhero movie in the form of Watchmen, and meta “what if” scenarios about real. everyday people trying to be costumed crime fighters with Kick Ass, Special, Defendor, hell, that set up actually goes all the way back to Blankman, so how on Earth can a new superhero movie find a way to differentiate itself from the pack?
It can be batshit insane, like Super. For both good and ill, this is something of a low rent masterpiece in genre subversion – it takes a hard look at the concept of the costumed crimefighter and pokes this concept in the belly with a sharp stick. The movie starts with repressed, twerpy and dull Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) losing his ex-junkie wife Sarah (Liv Tyler, The Incredible Hulk) to slimey strip club owner Jacques (Kevin Bacon, X-Men: First Class). Frank’s life sucks, but a vision from God (because he sees visions) tells him to put on a costume and fight evil in all of its forms. This leads to him donning the identity of the Crimson Bolt, adopting the slogan “Shut up, crime!” and utilizing a pipe wrench as his weapon of choice. He goes around town for a little while and fights all manner of “criminals,” ranging from drug dealers to line-jumpers, and he leaves them all lying on the ground with heads split open by his wrench. It’s not really made clear why he has to spend time fighting crime on the streets before he gets the chutzpah to go get his wife back from Jacques, but he does so anyway, eventually enlisting the services of comic book store clerk Libby (Ellen Page, X-Men: The Last Stand), who becomes his sidekick Boltie and proves to be even more unhinged and sadistic than he is.”
Instantly watch “Super” right here on Netflix, and check out the first superhero movie from the guy directing the upcoming “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.” Weird.