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Review: Super

Super
Apr. 1, 2011by:
8 10

PLOT: A low-key, regular guy (Rainn Wilson) transforms himself into a super hero called The Crimson Bolt, after his addict wife (Liv Tyler) falls under the sway of a local drug lord (Kevin Bacon). He's joined on his quest by a half-crazed comic book store clerk (Ellen Page), who proclaims herself his new sidekick, Boltie.

REVIEW: James Gunn's SUPER is just that. SUPER. Yeah, I know- pretty unoriginal way to start a review, but I also said KICK ASS kicked ass, so what do you expect? I absolutely adored this film, and in a film fest full of heavy duty dramas, the fun filled SUPER was a real treat. IFC snagged the rights to this after it rocked the Tiff' Midnight Madness crowd, and finally having checked it out for myself, I can see why.


If KICK ASS was the big budget, 'regular guy' superhero satire, SUPER is the ultra low-budget indie flavored take on the genre. This feels like a throwback to Gunn's days working for Troma films, and I mean that in a good way. Despite the vast difference in budgets, SUPER is just as creative and perhaps even more wickedly funny than that admittedly great flick. While KICK ASS was also a hard-R, SUPER feels grittier, as our heroes here both might be certifiably insane, although that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't likable. Still, they do some pretty far out things, like tearing half the face off a guy who (might) have keyed someone's car, or bashing a guy and his girlfriend over the head with a wrench after they cut line in a movie theatre.

In the lead, THE OFFICE's Rainn Wilson does a bloody fantastic job. This is the second indie Wilson's completely rocked in 2010 (HESHER being the other), and making low-budget, hip fare like this is going to give him a career that I imagine will still be going strong after THE OFFICE inevitably ends. His character is an endearing sort. This is a regular schmo who's been at the receiving end of a lot of casual cruelty over the course of his life. The one thing he has going for him is his recovering drug-addict wife, played by the luscious Liv Tyler.

However, she once again falls victim to the needle, and soon she becomes object of drug dealer slime bag Kevin Bacon's affections. While it's obvious from the start Wilson's character isn't playing with a full deck, with him being prone to religious hallucinations, you still can't help but like the guy. He just seems so damn earnest in his quest to save his wife, and with her being played by someone like Liv Tyler- you can't blame him. Wilson's final assault on Bacon's headquarters is almost like the superhero equivalent of TAXI DRIVER, and I doubt there are many comic actors that can pull off the balance of simultaneously heroic, funny, and scary.


However, the real scene-stealer here has to be Ellen Page. Wow. You've never seen Page like this folks. Her role as a totally unhinged, murderous, nymphomaniac comic book store worker, with a passion for slicing drug dealers faces up with her Wolverine-like claws might be downright iconic. She's absolutely incredible here, and throughout, I couldn't help but wish Fincher had cast her as Salander in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Her mixture of ferociousness, and understated sex appeal would have suited the role perfectly. Anyone who only knows Page from JUNO, get ready to have your world rocked by her work here. Between this and INCEPTION, Ms. Page is having a great year, and proving she has a range far beyond JUNO.

Like his previous film SLITHER, Gunn fills his cast with a fun bunch of supporting players. As the main baddie, Bacon seems to be having the time of his life, with his first scene opposite Wilson- with the two of them sitting down to breakfast, being a side-splitter. I also loved Andre Royo (Bubbles!) as Wilson's foul mouthed, but kindly co-worker, who enjoys demonstrating his affection toward Wilson by frequently kissing him. The one and only Nathan Fillion also has a gem of a cameo, as a hard-core Christian superhero called The Holy Avenger, and his cut -ins had the journalist audience I saw this with rolling in the aisles. Old pros Michael Rooker, and Gregg Henry (love this guy) also pop up in solid supporting parts, although it has to be said, Henry's rockin' a pretty bad (perhaps intentionally so) hairpiece.

Frankly, I can't wait to see it again. The balance between humor, pathos, and hardcore action is absolutely pitch perfect. Bring on SUPER 2!

Source: JoBlo.com

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9:47AM on 04/02/2011
Yes finally another good review for this. The last review a staff member of joblo did on this was a terrible review so im glad to see a good one done.
Yes finally another good review for this. The last review a staff member of joblo did on this was a terrible review so im glad to see a good one done.
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+0
12:13PM on 04/01/2011
You had me at James Gunn.
You had me at James Gunn.
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12:04PM on 04/01/2011

Great Review

Awesome review. Check out my review at my site: [link]
Awesome review. Check out my review at my site: [link]
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10:09AM on 04/01/2011

I absolutely hate Rainn Wilson and James Gunn.

But I have a crush on Ellen Page, so I will begrudgingly see this.
But I have a crush on Ellen Page, so I will begrudgingly see this.
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4:08PM on 09/16/2010
This sounds WAY TOO MUCH like Defendor which was an excellent movie. Don't understand how movies so similiar get made so close together.
This sounds WAY TOO MUCH like Defendor which was an excellent movie. Don't understand how movies so similiar get made so close together.
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1:42AM on 09/17/2010
Great minds think alike?
Great minds think alike?
-3
3:27PM on 09/16/2010
Im glad this is good but this is like the 4th movie with this type of premise: Special, Defendor, Kick-Ass and now Super
Im glad this is good but this is like the 4th movie with this type of premise: Special, Defendor, Kick-Ass and now Super
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7:06PM on 09/16/2010
And all about 30 years after HERO AT LARGE. So, not really a fresh premise.
And all about 30 years after HERO AT LARGE. So, not really a fresh premise.
1:19PM on 09/16/2010
After reading the review, I am even more excited to see this now. The team involved in this movie is just to good for this movie to be bad. Great to see Wilson get the success he deserves, because I really think he has the potential to have a great, long career ahead of him.

Defendor is another great comic book genre movie like this. Surprised me on how great it was.
After reading the review, I am even more excited to see this now. The team involved in this movie is just to good for this movie to be bad. Great to see Wilson get the success he deserves, because I really think he has the potential to have a great, long career ahead of him.

Defendor is another great comic book genre movie like this. Surprised me on how great it was.
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1:04PM on 09/16/2010

Defendor was awesome.

Love the sound of this movie and cant wait to see it.
Love the sound of this movie and cant wait to see it.
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12:30PM on 09/16/2010

Where's Woody Harrelson?

Anybody see the vastly underhyped Defendor? This sounds like the exact same flick. Harrelson was unbelievable in that, and the movie itself was pretty damn great too, so I guess I can handle another go around with James Gunn and Rainn Wilson
Anybody see the vastly underhyped Defendor? This sounds like the exact same flick. Harrelson was unbelievable in that, and the movie itself was pretty damn great too, so I guess I can handle another go around with James Gunn and Rainn Wilson
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+3
10:32AM on 09/16/2010
I've wanted to see this since the cast was announced, I love Ellen and Rainn. Nice to know that the movie is as good as I hoped!
I've wanted to see this since the cast was announced, I love Ellen and Rainn. Nice to know that the movie is as good as I hoped!
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9:36AM on 09/16/2010
I first had doubt about this movie but I guess I was wrong. Looking forward to this now.
I first had doubt about this movie but I guess I was wrong. Looking forward to this now.
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+6
9:27AM on 09/16/2010
Sounds spectacular. With films like this and his own Kickass, I don't agree with Vaughn's notion that the superhero film is being over-milked and will stop being interesting. As long as there are wildly different takes on the genre it can live prosperously. And as long as creativity has more say in it than greedy(Fox)executives.
Sounds spectacular. With films like this and his own Kickass, I don't agree with Vaughn's notion that the superhero film is being over-milked and will stop being interesting. As long as there are wildly different takes on the genre it can live prosperously. And as long as creativity has more say in it than greedy(Fox)executives.
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8:29AM on 09/16/2010
Good review. Looking forward to seeing this movie. Ellen Page is my favorite actress. I would go as far as to say I LOVED four of her movies, Hard Candy, Smart People, Juno, and Whip It. Her best movie and performance in my opinion was in Hard Candy. And she has described her role in Super as most similar to that character. As for Inception, I was bored from beginning to end with it and thought it really wasted Ellen Page by giving her NOTHING to work with, instead just having her stand
Good review. Looking forward to seeing this movie. Ellen Page is my favorite actress. I would go as far as to say I LOVED four of her movies, Hard Candy, Smart People, Juno, and Whip It. Her best movie and performance in my opinion was in Hard Candy. And she has described her role in Super as most similar to that character. As for Inception, I was bored from beginning to end with it and thought it really wasted Ellen Page by giving her NOTHING to work with, instead just having her stand around and ask questions so the audience can find out what's going on. So, hopefully, Super will be better but from the sound of it, it is, since at the very least it gives Ellen Page a good character this time.
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