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Super
     

Super

2.5 2
Director: James Gunn, Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler

Cast: James Gunn, Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler

 

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An average guy reacts to the frustration of losing his wife by adopting a crime-fighting persona known as the "Crimson Bolt", and targeting any criminal who crosses his path -- no matter how minor their infraction may be. Frank (Rainn Wilson) is husband to former alcoholic and drug addict Sarah (Liv Tyler), and

Overview

An average guy reacts to the frustration of losing his wife by adopting a crime-fighting persona known as the "Crimson Bolt", and targeting any criminal who crosses his path -- no matter how minor their infraction may be. Frank (Rainn Wilson) is husband to former alcoholic and drug addict Sarah (Liv Tyler), and he loves her with all his heart. Their wedding day was one of but two perfect moments in this Frank's life, but when Sarah runs away with charismatic drug dealer Jacques (Kevin Bacon), the loss was just too much for her mild-mannered husband to take. Subsequently transforming himself into the Crimson Bolt, Frank reasons that if he can take down Jacques along with the rest of the city's scum, his beloved wife will soon come running back. With his homemade suit and his handy pipe wrench, Frank goes to work cleaning up the streets and starts making headlines. But just as the Crimson Bolt becomes the talk of the town, sociopathic comic-store clerk Libby (Ellen Page) reinvents herself as "Boltie", and makes a play to become the controversial street hero's trusted sidekick. Perhaps by working together, the Crimson Bolt and Boltie can make an example of Jacques, and keep the streets safe for average citizens. But real life isn't like comic books, and sometimes when an average person tries to be a superhero, things can go very bad, very fast.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
It takes an incredibly courageous filmmaker to even attempt to balance sentimentality with psychosis the way that James Gunn does in Super -- his second feature as a writer/director -- and, for the most part, he succeeds. Some may find the tone of Super a bit too erratic to make the film an unmitigated success, but the characters he creates are endearing enough, and the questions he raises challenging enough, to give the film a lasting impact. Likewise, the creative flourishes scattered throughout Super succeed both in bringing a welcome sense of levity to the proceedings and serving up some enticing eye candy at the same time. Frank (Rainn Wilson) is husband to former alcoholic and drug addict Sarah (Liv Tyler), and he loves her with all his heart. Their wedding day was one of just two perfect moments in Frank's life, but when Sarah runs away with charismatic drug dealer Jacques (Kevin Bacon), the loss is just too much for her mild-mannered husband to take. Subsequently transforming himself into the vigilante crime-fighter "Crimson Bolt", Frank reasons that if he can take down Jacques along with the rest of the city's scum, his beloved wife will soon come running back. With his homemade suit and handy pipe wrench, Frank goes to work cleaning up the streets and making headlines. However, just as the Crimson Bolt is becoming the talk of the town, sociopathic comic-store clerk Libby (Ellen Page) reinvents herself as "Boltie" and makes a play to become the controversial street hero's trusted sidekick. Working together, the Crimson Bolt and Boltie aim to make an example of Jacques, and keep the streets safe for average citizens. But real life isn't like comic books, and sometimes when an average person tries to be a superhero, things can go very bad, very fast. Super isn't for everyone, but that's precisely what fans will cite as the film's greatest asset as Gunn stubbornly refuses to compromise his singular vision. Given that the harsher elements of Super are equally as effective as the humorous ones, it's incredibly difficult to even classify the film in any one particular genre. Still, some of the most memorable movies are the ones that defy categorization, and by refusing to adhere to the rules of one specific genre or explicitly condemn Frank's maniacal actions, Gunn delivers a film that gets under our skin while challenging our concepts of what it really means to be a hero. Gunn's direction is stripped down yet stylized; the religious implications of Frank's transformation lend the film a disturbingly surreal edge; and unlike many movies of its ilk, the violence in Super has real-world repercussions. Frank is an incredibly earnest character, but the more determined he becomes to defeat Jacques, the less certain we are if we should laugh or recoil at his increasingly savage do-gooder zealotry. Later, when Boltie takes her place by Frank's side, Gunn uses the opportunity to delve even deeper into the self-made superhero's damaged psyche as the ripple effect of his actions begins to have unanticipated consequences. While Wilson's portrayal of Frank is reverent to the extreme, Page flirts with feral in a way that's simultaneously erotic and revolting -- especially when she finally gets her cherished vigilante all to herself. Other primary cast members, for the most part, fare equally well. As the drug-dealing criminal kingpin who steals Frank's wife, Bacon is delectably slimy; Tyler elicits just the right amount of vulnerability as the deeply troubled Sarah; and Slither veteran Gregg Henry displays fantastic comic timing in a scene where his suspicions about Frank start to bubble to the surface. Nathan Fillion is unrecognizable yet hilarious as the Bibleman-like television character who inspires Frank to take action, and a smart cameo by William Katt is both amusing and incidental. With precious little more to do than eat candy and get his head bashed in, the talented Michael Rooker is the only cast member who feels completely wasted, though it's always a welcome pleasure just to see his face, regardless of how minor his role may be. In the final moments of Super -- when the true stakes of what Frank has been fighting for are finally revealed -- the film gets its heart, and the drama truly resonates. The reason it works is not only because Frank earns it -- but by sticking with the film through all of its graphic violence, disturbing psychology, and twisted humor, the audience does as well.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/09/2011
UPC:
0030306187495
Original Release:
2010
Rating:
R
Source:
Ifc Independent Film
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
42,771

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rainn Wilson Frank Darbo
Ellen Page Libby
Liv Tyler Sarah
Kevin Bacon Jacques
Michael Rooker Abe
Andre Royo Hamilton
William Katt Sgt. Fitzgibbon
Sean Gunn Toby
Stephen Blackehart Quill
Don Mac Mr. Range
Linda Cardellini Pet Store Employee
Nathan Fillion The Holy Avenger
Gerardo Davilla Cop
Grant S. Goodman Young Frank
Paul Taylor Frank, Sr.
Connor Day Teenage Frank
James Gunn Demonswill
Mikaela Hoover Holly
Nick Holmes Jim
Matt Moore Jesus/Guy in Line
Rob Zombie Voice of God
Steve Agee Comic Book Store Jerk
Laurel Whisett Librarian
Nate Rubin Passenger Teen
Edrick Browne Nathaniel
Danny Cosmo Purse-Snatcher
Krystal Mayo Wheelchair Woman
Russell Towery Chickenhawk
Mario Jiminez Chicken
Jonathan Winkler Transvestite
Mollie Milligan Sarah's Sister
Gerry May Newscaster
Valentine Miele Line Butter
Michelle Gunn Line Butter's Girlfriend
Darcel Moreno Waitress
Greg Ingram Long-Haired Hood
Lindsey Soileau Libby's Friend
Brandon Belknap Christian
Zach Gilford Jerry
Lloyd Kaufman 911 Man
Tim J. Smith Range's Technician
Mark de Alessandro Thug Jumped on by Boltie
Cole McKay Thug Set on Fire
Dominic Labanca Thug #1
John W. Lawson Thug Missing Arms
Gregg Henry Actor

Technical Credits
James Gunn Director,Screenwriter
Miranda Bailey Producer
Tyler Bates Score Composer
Gary J. Coppola Sound/Sound Designer
William Elliott Production Designer
Lampton Enochs Executive Producer
Steve Gainer Cinematographer
Ted Hope Producer
Matthew Leutwyler Executive Producer
Amanda Marshall Co-producer
Mary Matthews Costumes/Costume Designer
Cara Silverman Editor
Rainn Wilson Executive Producer

Scene Index

Trailer; TV spot; Deleted scene; Behind the scenes; Making of the main titles; "How to Fight Crime" featurette; Commentary with James Gunn and Rainn Wilson

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Super 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago