Arriving in the same year as Kick-Ass was always going to be a bit of a problem for James Gunn’s superhero spoof Super. With a vastly inferior budget it wasn’t going to be able to avoid being compared to the film which grossed $95 million more at the box office and it was unfortunately going to end up with some kind of “the indie Kick-Ass” label to boot.
Beware though, Super has all that Kick-Ass has to offer (minus the expensive cars) and a little more; it has the comedy, it has violence, it has the shocks, but it also has a considerable amount more drama and unlike it’s arch-nemesis – it’s really heartbreaking.
Having been familiar with Rainn Wilson from his role in The Office I was excited to see if he could deliver in a role a little different to that of Dwight Schrute. His character, Frank, does harbour some similar quirks, lack of social skills to name but one (which superheroes don’t, right?), but he lacks the confidence of Dwight and this allows Wilson to branch out; when Frank is in a rut Wilson hits the notes every time. As you would expect his comedic timing is absolutely perfect, he is able to dryly squeeze laughs out of any line, by the fourth or fifth time we hear the Crimson Bolt’s catchphrase “Shut up crime!” we are still sniggering.
Ellen Page’s character doesn’t really give her the room for growth, which Wilson is allowed, but despite this it is a fantastic performance. Without knowing it we find that her character has really charmed the audience, which makes Super an uncomfortable watch at times.
It is unfortunate that Super fell in the same year as Kick-Ass, without the funds of the latter it was never going to be able to stand alone and has ended up looking like something of a kid-sidekick, which is an utter shame.
The poster for Kick-Ass reads “Shut up, Kick-Ass”, but now whenever I look at it I can’t help but read it as though it were being said by the Crimson Bolt.
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