#35 - Super (James Gunn)

"Wanna go fight some crime?"

I liked “Slither” quite a bit. I love the gooey-slimy horror and schlock humor of that film, it had quite a unique quality. Not that I consider it a great film, not even on its own terms, but it was quite fun and sometimes that’s more than enough. “Super” is director James Gunn’s follow-up to “Slither”, and it’s clearly a film from the same man… Only slightly less fun.

And “Super” is not a bad film it just seems rather pointless. It treads a similar ground like some other “more adult” superhero films like “Kick Ass” and “Special” and does not add much to the table of its own. Actually I am personally getting as much tired of these “alternative” superhero movies as I’m tired of blockbuster superhero films. It’s a shallow genre that has been milked well beyond reason in my opinion. But that’s just me.

Still, if “Super” has anything going for it then it’s the cast and especially Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page. Both of them are great cinematic presences, Rainn Wilson is the perfect loser with a slight psychotic edge and Ellen Page is… Well this is one of her best roles to be honest. She’s gorgeous, sexy and absolutely crazy. In fact her character is one of the most psychotic female characters that I’ve ever seen in a film and "Super" gets thumbs up from me just for that. She completely made this film for me.

Another reason why I love Page’s role here is that for the first time she does not come across as a teenage girl and the role actually reflects her real age. And in a way this is also because of the writing of her part, but Page’s play with her sexuality and her fearlessness just to revel in the craziness of the character really make it. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Kevin Bacon, Liv Tyler and Michael Rooker, who all seem quite under-utilized. Especially Kevin Bacon because his role is ridiculously familiar and lacks substance, which is odd for the main villain of the piece.

Gore is another thing to note in this film, simply because it’s very gory. Most of it is very well done, but it’s pointless. You can’t tell me this is because the film is supposed to be more “realistic”, because there’s nothing realistic about this film. At least in “Slither” the gore served a great purpose and was a very fun part of the film, and here it’s just... I don't know. I am not saying the film would have been better without it, but I don't think it would be worse either. And apart from one shot none of it is really shocking either, but then again a lot of it feels to be there just for that purpose - to shock. So, mission failed I guess.

But this is what I was saying before, there doesn’t seem to be much point to anything. Even the story does not seem to have any thematic depth and events unfold without any real thread or reason. Unless the message of the film is supposed to be that murderous psychopaths need love as well. Which it kind of is in the end, I guess. All this leaves “Super” as a very messy film, and although there are a few fun parts and Ellen Page is a hoot, I found the most of it to be a bit ordinary in the end. 


Rainn Wilson - Frank Darbo / The Crimson Bolt
Ellen Page - Libby / Boltie
Liv Tyler - Sarah
Kevin Bacon - Jacques
Michael Rooker - Abe

Super on IMDb

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