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The Specials (2000)
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Review Date: July 25, 2000
Director: Craig Mazin
Writer: James Gunn
Producers: David Altman, Dan Bates
Actors:
Thomas Haden Church as The Strobe
Rob Lowe as The Weevil
Jamie Kennedy as Amok
Plot:
Similar in plot to the MYSTERY MEN (7/10), this film focuses on the fictitious lives of several low-rent super heroes. The team is obviously not the best in town, but they have just recently been approached by a toy company wanting to feature them as action figures. Their daily trials and tribulations fill our time together.
Critique:
A funny movie featuring several cool blue-collar super heroes, many humorous lines, profanity and sexual innuendo by the bucket and enough interest in the story to forgive the film's second half slowdown. Credit Thomas Hayden Church as the politically correct leader with a standout job and Jamie Kennedy for easily stealing every scene that he is in as the very slick-looking blue dude with a foul mouth and villainous attitude (he used to be a villain, doncha know). More kudos go out to the entire production team behind this film for being able to pull off a "comic book hero" movie with very few special effects (but keep your eyes peeled during the film's last two minutes) and no action sequences, while still managing to amuse and delight! I especially liked the super heroes talking directly into the camera bit between scenes, which allowed us a greater insight into the loopy minds of many of the so-called heroes. I also liked the fact that the story is basically just about a group of regular people who work together, have their respective everyday problems, but who just happen to be...super heroes! Somehow, everyone can relate.

Unfortunately, after a much stronger focus on their status as crime fighters early on in the film, the movie slows during its second half with an increasing number of sequences featuring the characters consoling one another from one scene to the next. The film is definitely not for everyone. It's unique, it's short (80 minutes, I think), it's low-budget, it's cultish...I would say. Overall, it is a different kind of comic book hero movie, one that features real people with real problems who just happen to be super heroes. It certainly isn't a classic but it is definitely funnier and more interesting than MYSTERY MEN (although I did like the effects and look of the latter film more). Once again, major kudos going out to everyone in the production for showing Hollywood that you needn't spend $100 million in order to make a successful movie about super heroes. Go grunts, go!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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