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Super - Review

Super

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

JAMES Gunn’s Super almost inevitably suffers from following in the footsteps of Kick-Ass given the similarities between the two.

If anything, though, Gunn’s film is even darker than Matthew Vaughn’s crowd-pleaser and sometimes downright difficult to watch.

Rainn Wilson stars as Frank D’Arbo, a hopelessly insecure fast food chef who is left distraught by his wife’s decision to leave him for smooth-talking drug dealer Jacques (Kevin Bacon) at the start of the movie.

Resolving to ‘rescue her’, Frank becomes the caped crusader The Crimson Bolt after believing he has heard a message from God and despite having no super-powers.

Armed with only a wrench, he wages a one-man war against the city’s drug dealers, paedophiles and thieves that places him on a collision course with Jacques, while inspiring comic book store owner Libby (Ellen Page) to join him as his side-kick (Boltie).

Neither is prepared for the violent repercussions of what follows…

While certainly boasting some interesting ideas, Gunn’s film suffers from an uneven tone that veers inconsistently between jet black comedy and edgy psychological drama.

Some of the comedy also sits uncomfortably alongside the harder hitting stuff meaning that you can be chuckling one minute and gasping the next – and not necessarily in a positive way. The violence is extremely hard-hitting and sometimes sexual in nature.

That said, Gunn deserves credit for attempting to subvert the whole superhero thing even more wildly than Kick-Ass (minus the exhilaration) and draws an excellent central performance from Wilson, who clearly relishes the complex emotions and morals at play.

Page is good, too, as is Bacon (in OTT mode) but it’s also to the film’s detriment that both are under-used.

Overall, Super is a curious affair that probably suffers from one too many flaws. But it’s curiosity value remains high, especially for comic book fans who enjoy seeing the genre shaken up a bit. As such, it’s still worthy of checking out.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 96mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: August 1, 2011