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LES FRANKEN (Michael Rapaport) leads a painfully unremarkable life as a metermaid until he enrolls in a drug study for an experimental anti-depressant. An unexpected side effect of the drug convinces Les he is developing special powers and must quit his job to answer his new calling in life - Superhero. A very select group of people in life are truly gifted. Special is a movie about everyone else. Written by
I used to dream about flying. It went the same way every night. I realized that I could fly. No that's not quite right, I realized that there was no reason I *couldn't* fly, and after that I'd float off the ground and soar above the city. But I haven't had that dream in a while now. Lately, I dream about more ordinary things, like doing my laundry, or shopping for groceries, or riding on elevators. I wonder why that is?
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With Hollywood so obsessed with easily-bankable superheroes, sooner or later you were going to get a spate of movies making fun of them.
However, 'Special' isn't one of them. It, like another similarly-themed film called 'Defendor,' is a different take on the genre. If you want a parody of a superhero film then watch something slapstick like 'Superhero Movie' (which, incidentally, is the cinematic equivalent of self harm). 'Special' is about a decent, well-meaning man who signs on for some experimental drugs-testing trials. The results make him believe he has superpowers. Obviously, he doesn't. Here might have been the time to add in some really funny jokes into the mix. Special doesn't. It's a sad take on seeing a rotten world through the eyes of a man who wants to do the right thing, but doesn't really know how - or even get it right.
I found this film sad and poignant rather than laugh-a-minute. If people do think it's funny, then it's the blackest black comedy around.
It won't be for everyone. It's low budget is visible from time to time and it goes without saying that there are know well-known actors in it.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, but you have to be in the mood for something a little heavier than Toby Maguire in red and blue tights.
Uplifting and heart-warming it is. The X-Men it is not.
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