Shut up, crime!
This is not a comedy. This is not a popcorn-blockbuster. This is not a movie about ordinary normal people. This is not a super-hero-movie.
Loser Frank (Rainn Wilson) loses his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) to the drug dealer Jock (Kevin Bacon). To win her back – to save her – he decides to dress up as a superhero and fight crime. Soon he is better known as the extremely brutal vigilante called “Crimson Bolt”, and soon afterwards joined by his sidekick “Boltie” (Ellen Page), a nymphomanic comic-book girl who loves action. But can Frank hide his secret identity to the public, and is “Crimson Bolt” able to save Sarah and to really shut up crime?
“Super” is a victim of the wrong marketing. The superb trailer sugests that it is a action comedy very much like Kick Ass. And to be fair, in the beginning it looks very similar to it. But “Super” is not a movie about ordinary people becoming superheros. It is a movie about a man who tries to get his life back together by dressing up as a superhero. It is a drama. The fact that Frank believes to get visions sent by God to guide him (with the help of Nathan Fillion) makes this film rather more like “Take Shelter”, a movie I highly recommand, and subsequently I see “Super” as a hybrid of “Kick Ass” and the latter one.
Another difference is the violence. “Super” is extremely brutal, and in that way far more realistic when it comes to injuries and fights. But when I say violent, I mean it in a way that “Hostel” would be jealous of! Heads get slain, people get stabbed in more than one way, driven over, blown up and shot. And you see everything. As an example: At one point a head gets crushed against an edge, over and over and over again. I have to admit: I had to look away because I couldn’t stand it anymore.
This movie asks the question whether it’s normal to become a vigilante, or if only psychopaths are likely to do so. It does not give a clear answer, for one of the dynamic duo is definitely a psychopath, and the other one has also some tendencies. In the end, the protagonist resumes his deeds and work he has done in the movie, and clarifies whether it was worth it or not. Though the movie itself has some kind of “happy ending”, the audience is just uncertain about it. Too much blood has been spilled and bodies disforged to forget those images after the end credits have been rolling.
“Super” is not just a great movie. It’s a masterpiece It combines a lot of genres and still keeps being fresh. There is humor, action, suspense and also disgust. The characters are likeable and the actors are doing a wonderful job portraying them (though Liv Tyler seemed a little odd in her role). You may not know Rainn Wilson, but this role is made for him. Page is great in ALL her roles, so also in this one. And Kevin Bacon is Kevin Bacon, and seems to have had a lot of fun with his part.
If you have the chance to watch it, go watch it. But keep in mind: It’s not a superhero movie…