The weird B side to 2010’s other real life super hero flick Kick Ass.
When Kick Ass hit four years ago people sagely stroked their beards, pulled on their pipes and proclaimed ‘This is what would REALLY happen if somebody tried to become a super hero in real life’. This was to be revised almost instantly upon the release of Super a few months later.
Super is as close as you will get to a realistic superhero film and even then that realism only really stretches to the midway point of the film. To concentrate on this though is to miss the point. Super is a weird film almost to the point of distraction but it also contains enough laughs and heart to be labelled a success.
Rainn Wilson overacts in all the wrong places but is still hilarious as always and makes for a good protagonist. Ellen Page channels Juno in slipping back into the more annoying forced quirkiness seen in some of her earlier performances but also raises a smile here and there.
Director/Writer James Gunn (currently taking over the world with Guardians of the Galaxy) doesn’t seem to know what he wants Super to be. The brutal depictions of rape and violence don’t really sit that well with Rainn Wilson shouting ‘SHUT UP CRIME!!’ over and over, although this is easily the greatest superhero catchphrase ever, and the ending seems a little rushed and ill conceived. On top of that antagonist Kevin Bacon plays that same villain he plays in every film these days. I think maybe that is just who he is in real life now and he doesn’t realize that he is acting in a film at all…
Super would make a great real crime fighters trilogy with Kick Ass and God Bless America but on second viewing I would probably say it is the weakest of the three.