I don’t really know how to review this film. It’s been a couple of days since I saw it and it’s still on my mind. I guess that’s as great a compliment you can give to a film.
When reading the movie description you might think that you’ve seen this movie before. “Isn’t this the same thing as KICK-ASS?” And when you start to read other reviews of this film talking about how it’s “funny” and “dark”, you can’t help but think “Wait, is this KICK-ASS?” While the premise may be the same, SUPER is an entirely different movie and experience.
SUPER has a great cast, starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon, and Liv Tyler. Hell, Nathon Fillion even has a small, comical role in the film. Every movie should have Nation Fillion. The film essentially boils down to this: After losing his wife (Liv Tyler) to a drug-lord (Kevin Bacon), Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) gets fed up of always being last in life and takes up the super-hero moniker The Crimson Bolt, hoping to get his wife back. He soons get’s a side-kick in his biggest fan Libby (Ellen Page), who goes by the name Boltie.
The Crimson Bolt isn’t your typical super-hero. Instead of driving a supercar equipped with high-tech gadgets, he drives a beat-up car that has trouble starting. Instead of using high-tech weapons, he runs around with a wrench. He has no hideout – he lives in a small one-bedroom home. And Boltie, she’s just a college student who eams up with The Crimson Bolt thinking it’s going to be kicking ass and hurting people the whole time. Oh yeah, she’s got problems.
SUPER was written and directed by James Gunn and it’s neccesarry to give props to Gunn on his script. It’s great. He wasn’t afraid to make this film knowing this type of film had already been recently made, and he wasn’t afraid to take this film to unconfortable levels. Gunn really doesn’t hold back. The first time you see Rainn Wilson crack someone in the head with a wrench you’re taken aback at how brutal this film is. It side-swipes you with it’s brutality, yet it keeps you laughing.
SUPER really shows you what it’s like to be a super-hero in today’s world. Waiting for hours behind a trash container hoping to catch a drug deal. Sure, taking on one person with a wrench is easy, but what happens when his friends come to his aid? And one thing about dealing with criminals is that they have guns. You have a wrench. Basically, being a super-hero would suck. There’s no bulletproof vest and grapple guns. There’s a scene where Rainn Wilson tries to use a smoke grenade to escape, but it doesn’t work out like it does in the movies.
Even though Rain Wilson hasn’t had many significant movie roles so far, this is easily his best performance. The greatness of his performance grows as the film progresses as he shows his range as an actor, ultimately culminating in his greatest scene captured on film at the end of this movie. His confrontation with Kevin Bacon at the end is the scene that sticks with me the most as Rainn just kills it with his performance.
This movie will make you laugh, then make you utter to yourself “Holy crap…” or “Whoa…” with its shocking brutality and gritty realism. This fact really hits home at the end with a scene featuring Ellen Page’s character.
I’m still kind of in shock from this film. No matter how many reviewers told me that it isn’t what you expect it’s going to be, it still wasn’t what I expected. It was better and different from what I expected. SUPER was great and it lingers on after viewing. It’s safe to say that you’ll be thinking about SUPER well after the credits roll.
If there’s anything I learned from this film, it’s that You don’t butt in line! You don’t sell drugs! You don’t molest little children! You don’t profit off the misery of others! The rules were set a long time ago! They don’t change!
On a scale of Pass/Rent/Buy, this movie is a Buy.