Between his tax problems and his legal battle with his wife for the custody of his daughter, these are hard times for the action movie star who finds that even Steven Seagal has pinched a ... See full summary »
Mabrouk El Mechri
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother.
Frank Darrbo is a hapless fry cook. When his wife Sarah falls off the wagon and dumps him for Jacques, a drug dealer, Frank tries to get her back by reporting her kidnapped, grabbing her from Jacques' car, and wailing for her to return. After watching Christian TV and having a vision, he becomes a superhero to fight evil. He sews a costume, finds a weapon (a pipe wrench) and looks for crimes to stop. He has problems: his wrench inflicts real injury, so the cops want him for being a vigilante, his sense of boundaries is flawed, and Jacques' gang has guns. Libby, a clerk at a comic book store, becomes his sidekick, and it's time to go save Sarah. What chance do they have? Written by
Rainn Wilson came to the project via Jenna Fischer's relationship with her ex-husband James Gunn. Gunn was discussing his script with Fischer and asked her to take a look at it, sending her a copy on the set of The Office. Fischer read the script, loved it and thought Wilson would be a great choice as the lead. She gave the script to her co-worker, and Wilson immediately decided to make the film. See more »
After getting shot, Frank drives away and the shadow of the camera man is visible on the Crimson Bolt. The sun is on the other side (car has turned around) in the next shot in the car. See more »
This is a 'love it' or 'hate it' movie. Like this reviewer, a small fraction of the audience will find themselves in between. The general public will either love this or hate it, depending on their expectations in comparing this movie to "Kick-Ass"; and it will always be compared with "Kick-Ass". Both films are about ordinary people donning costumes to fight crime. However, this is where the comparison ends. Written and directed by James Gunn, this is not a movie for just anyone. Keeping in mind his "Dawn of the Dead" and "Slither", it becomes evident that Gunn has intended for this movie to target a specific segment of the movie going populace, specifically those who enjoy very dark humor.
A cook by profession, Frank D'Arbo (Rainn Wilson) is sad man with a depressing past and a feeble excuse of an existence. His greatest moments in life is marrying a recovering drug addict, Sarah (Liv Tyler) and helping a cop catch a purse snatcher. These events are so overwhelming that Frank even symbolizes its meaning through crayon sketches. Then things turn sour again. Sarah relapses into drug addiction and even leaves Frank for Jacques (Kevin Bacon), her drug dealer. Attempts to get his wife back results in insults and beatings, until the day Frank has an epiphany. Having realized that the only way to recuperate his wife is to punish drug pushers, Frank becomes a furious vigilante, and soon gains media attention as "The Crimson Bolt".
As an independent production, "Super" has its moments as a believable and funny film, with some good acting by the likes of some top actors. Although the plot, acting and twisted humor are the highlights of the film, it never comes together as a whole. Like Kick-Ass, the story pits average Joes as superheroes but without super powers. But unlike the aforementioned film, the vigilantes here are almost psychopathic. And yes, there is more than one. Last seen together in Juno, Ellen Page joins Frank as "Boltie", a sensuous side-kick bordering on lunacy. Together, they are more dangerous than the sleaziest of dark alley crooks. As actors, both D'Arbo and Page are scary, funny and insane. In opposing roles are Kevin Bacon and Michael Rooker as his side-kick. Bacon is the same as in all his antagonistic roles, 80% threat and 20 % deed. My biggest disappointment is the underplayed role of Liv Tyler. Gorgeous as she is, Tyler's role (and character) is a negligible two pennies worth that could have been done without.
Coming back to Gunn and his attempt in making an off-beat, albeit, dark comedy, I can say his approach is acceptable in starting an offshoot in the superhero genre. By his words, there are thousands of bank heist movies, so why not a few movies about superheroes without super powers.
If you haven't seen "Kick-Ass", I would suggest you watch that film first. If by then you are ready for some in-your-face violence (literally), a twisted and absurdly dark plot with a questionable conclusion, then, and only then would I suggest you try this movie. But don't say you weren't warned. In not calling it tasteless, this film does have a certain odd taste to it. It's like curiously savoring a medium-rare steak and then wondering halfway "what if the meat is human flesh!?!"
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