“Shut up crime!”
James Gunn should be on your radar. After directing the Dawn of the Dead remake then a lovely send up to Night of the Creeps called Slither followed up by safe for work porn shorts called PG Porn. Super came along and my first thought was: A low rent Kick Ass?
While Kick Ass catered to the photoshoped ping and dinged crowd, Super caters to the indy, slice of life, third party, comic book crowd. It chronicles the life of short order cook, Frank D’arbo played by Rainn Wilson and his recovering junkie of a wife, Sarah played by Liv Tyler. The story book marriage is off to a rocky start when Sarah stumbles off the wagon one night and Frank comes home to find her stoned and immediately sticks a poker into one of her stone friends.
Unfortunately, the poker in the eye scene is just part of Frank’s mind. But it chronicles things to come as Frank begins going through a life crisis when one day he makes breakfast for Jacques played by Kevin Bacon. Jacques is bad news from page one, because of his name is Jacques and because he’s played by Kevin Bacon. Oh, and Jacques promptly absconds Sarah back to his McMansion.
Frank tries several times to retrieve her but he’s already beaten down and Detective Felkner played by Gregg Henry is no help.
Then Frank is touched by God one night. This is par for the course since Frank either has an overactive imagination or is just slightly off since childhood since he’s seen visions before often turning his opponent into a demon. This entire situation gets slightly weirder when The Holy Avenger, a hysterical PR stunt for the church played by Nathan Fillion tells him some of God’s children are special. The Holy Avenger’s specials on the All Jesus Network feels like if it was Buffy (minus the super powers) VS. The Devil.
Once he’s touched, Frank does what any other self respecting person would do: he decides to fight crime.
Using a wrench with decidedly bloody outcomes Frank now known as the Crimson Bolt starts staking out places where crime happens. This of course takes several tries to get right until he begins to beat up several baddies along the way he gets a spark plug of a sidekick named Libby played by Ellen Page and after several missions goes after Sarah.
I’ve left a few things out obviously, but overall the movie hits it’s mark: How far are you willing to go to get your woman back? If you said spandex, a wrench and run people down with your car then you’re not too far off. Super does what Kick Ass did not and that’s keep the movie somewhat grounded more in reality. And in doing so not everyone will survive until the end of the movie.
The movie is not without it’s faults: A few characters of notoriety are killed without any consequences and the police investigation/procedures are laughable.
Worth renting if you haven’t seen it already.