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MOVIE REVIEW: Super

Another super hero movie, with Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson

  • Rainn Wilson as The Crimson Bolt in "Super."
  • Ellen Page as Libby and Rainn Wilson as Frank D'Arbo in "Super."
  • Ellen Page as Boltie in "Super."
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I hate when people don’t go to see good movies that slip under the radar. That happened with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last year, and a movie that reminded me of it – Super – is probably going to suffer the same fate. Maybe if they would’ve come up with a better name. This can be confused with Superbad, The Super, or Super 8 which comes out later this year. And the perfect title could’ve been “Between the Panels” (what a character tells a comic book lover about what the super heroes do during slow times). The title “Crimson Bolt” would’ve worked, too.

Super is a super hero that a short-order cook, who’s a loser in life, creates after losing his wife. That character is played by Rainn Wilson. Fans of The Office with either love it or hate it, both saying the same thing – he’s just playing Dwight Schrute in a red costume. His wife is played by Liv Tyler, who’s a waitress and recovering drug addict. I remember enjoying her as a waitress in Heavy from about 15 years ago. Kevin Bacon has played the bad guy before, and he’s a blast in this. When he’s telling Wilson not to touch his car, the exchange between them is hysterical. There’s another scene where Bacon praises the eggs Wilson has cooked – which reminded me of Harvey Keitel praising Quentin Tarantino for his coffee in Pulp Fiction. The egg scene was way funnier. I always said Harry Shearer as the voice of God on The Simpsons, was my favorite to ever voice the man upstairs. Well, Rob Zombie gives him a run for his money in this.

I’m guessing everyone will be in agreement that Ellen Page steals the show. As the slightly snobby comic book store clerk, who is eager to become a sidekick to Crimson Bolt – she never disappoints. Her enthusiasm is contagious. We’re soon laughing along with her, as she’s bashing the bad guys brains in (or trying to); or having an incredibly funny sex scene.

This is turning out to be the year of humorous sex scenes, with A Somewhat Gentle Man having a great one, too. Not a single scene in this movie is original, but I didn’t care. That’s because it made me laugh. That’s a goal dark comedies strive for, but often fail. This action adventure/super hero spoof is the movie I wished Kick-Ass would’ve been. It does shift gears a bit, and the violence might turn some people off.

How can you not root for a sad-sack bent on getting revenge – not just on child molesters, but people that key cars and cut in line? And unlike the Seth Rogen character in Observe and Report – Wilson isn’t a jerk. In fact, he tries to keep Page from even cursing when they’re out cruising town looking for crime to fight (or waiting behind a dumpster for it to stumble upon them). The film has a low-budget charm, as the camera sometimes shakes as if you’re watching Dwight plot something in The Office.

This movie will tank at the box office, and critics aren’t being kind to it. That’s a shame, because it’s going to be a cult classic. We’re going to be seeing Crimson Bolt and Boltie costumes at future Comic Con’s. Especially since those characters don’t have the best looking bodies for those costumes. Days after you see the movie, you and your friends will repeating the funny lines to each other.

The soundtrack is good, too; songs by Ellen Page, Tsar, Eric Carmen, Cheap Trick, and originals by Tyler Bates from the band Pet (he’s worked with Rob Zombie on lots of projects previously).

I’m giving this movie a B.