Super – Daily Movie Review (09.01.2013)
Review of Super (2010) with Rainn Wilson
Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson) leads a pointless life as a fry cook. The only good thing in his daily routine seem to be the times when he is with his girlfriend Sarah (Liv Tyler), a recovering drug addict. When Sarah leaves Frank for the gangster Jaques (Kevin Bacon) Frank is unable to cope with it. He begins to have surreal hallucinations about a character from TV: the Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion). Soon Frank believes he is on a holy quest himself. In his mind god has chosen him to become a superhero. It does not take long before Frank becomes The Crimson Bolt and even has a sidekick, the foul-mouthed Libby (Ellen Page).
Many viewers and also reviewers like Paeter’s Brain compared Super to Kick-Ass. Sometimes this spawned bad reviews (Morse’s Movie Blog) and sometimes good (The Movie Blog). Yet most reviewers admit that Super ist not a copy of Kick-Ass – it just was marketed as such. In truth the concepts for Kick-Ass and Super were developed at the same time. Still both are vastly different movies. The only thing they have in common is their unusual approach to the superhero genre. But while Kick-Ass is a good hearted tribute to the genre, Super is more of a bizarre deconstruction. Kick-Ass is far more “glossy” than Super. The latter is a lot darker and surreal. One might even say more realistic, if you will. So if you check out Super expecting another Kick-Ass you will be very disappointed.
The main protagonist Frank is neither a real hero nor an antihero. He is merely a normal guy living a frustrating life. Unlike Dave in Kick-Ass he is also neither very idealistic nor determined. He has purely selfish motivations for becoming The Crimson Bolt. Mainly he is fed up with life and what he views as injustice happening to him. Some might say becoming the Crimson Bolt is just a way of becoming insane. While the bad guys deserve some things he does to them others might seem highly overreacted. For example Frank bashed a guy to a bloody mess because he cut a line. Yet this also shows Super is not a simple spoof or comedy. It makes you think: How important are rules – even the tiny ones? In a society where corrupt politicians push laws and regulations on others while taking the liberty to break every rule in the book as long as they don’t get caught, this is a valid question.
But what is Super? Is it a superhero movie? Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Well, it is a bit of them all and yet really none. To be true this is a completely weird and bizarre movie. This is also the explanation for the vastly varying reviews. I guess either you love Super or you hate it.
Now would I recommend Super? Yes, indeed I would. But only if you have an open mind and don’t let the trailer fool you. Super is a surreal movie that can be quite dark and even morbid at times. There is also a lot of bloody violence in here. So this film definately is not for everyone.
My Score 8 /10