Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Nathan Fillion, Linda Cardellini, Gregg Henry
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Frank (Rainn Wilson) has a pretty crappy life. The only thing he really loves about it is his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler). And then Sarah leaves him for the shady Jacques (Kevin Bacon) and Frank’s life completely falls apart. While watching some religious propaganda, Frank has an epiphany: he will become a superhero, save Sarah and win her back that way. Thus Crimson Bolt is born, despite Frank not really being the heroic type. So it comes as no surprise that things start going wrong very quickly.
Super is a to me rather controversial movie. It’s like Kick-Ass but with a morale I can agree with even less. If it wasn’t for the ending – and the way the audience around me reacted to it – I’d say that it’s pretty damn perfect. But as is, I have to show some more restraint.
Frank is a complete psychopath – and James Gunn leaves no doubt about that. He bashes some guy’s head in for queue jumping – that is not healthy behaviour. He also shows some pretty serious psychiatrical symptoms when he hears/sees god. And in the beginning, they do a good job showing that Frank is not a person to be followed. He is not an idol or a hero: he is a guy who’s had a psychotic break.
And then they go ahead and ruin things by having Frank win. He not only kills all the bad guys, he gets Sarah back, too. Even if it’s not a win without losses – Libby/Boltie (Ellen Page) dies and Sarah does leave again – he shouldn’t have won at all.
Despite that fucked up ending (that just stands out so much because it is otherwise a very intelligent movie) and the fact that the audience did worry me a good deal (seriously who laughs at a rape scene? So what if it’s a dude getting raped as in this case, it’s still not funny. And that’s not the only time I thought the audience’s laughter entirely inappropriate. Maybe I’m one hell of a party pooper. Maybe people are fucked), I did enjoy the film.
The cast is great, and I do mean the entire cast, though I particularly liked the parts with Nathan Fillion since I enjoy a good piss-taking at religious nuts. The pacing is good and there are jokes in it that are actual jokes and work nicely.
Summarising: Very worth seeing – just don’t forget to bring your brain.