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April 30, 2011 | 12:04 p.m. CST
Writer and director James Gunn apparently spent years working on the script, but it doesn’t really show. The conspicuously-titled Super is a half-assed mess of bad writing and awkward moments.
Rainn Wilson (The Office) stars as Frank D'Arbo, a pessimistic oaf who just lost his wife to the influence of a drug-dealer named Jacques (Kevin Bacon). Frank thirsts for revenge and becomes inspired by a religious super hero called The Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion). Set on taking his wife back, Frank transforms into his own hero, The Crimson Bolt — a pipe-wrench wielding enforcer of street justice. He then meets Libby (Ellen Page), who becomes the kid-sidekick Boltie.Related Movie
Super nonsensically jumps from indie-drama to gruesome violence as Gunn (Scooby Doo) tries to get the audience involved in Frank's plight. When The Crimson Bolt whacks criminals with his wrench, skulls mangle and graphically burst open. The violence comes across as forced shock-humor, which becomes a trend.
Page's bizarre performance as the sex-crazed and ultraviolent Libby results in some of the worst sexual tension in movie history. Gunn wastes time thrusting in an awkward love scene between The Crimson Bolt and the far younger Boltie. Maybe Gunn just wanted to see audience members squirm in their seats. All he did was derail his own film and the DIY message behind it.
Perhaps Super is an experiment by Gunn to see what kinds of crap people will laugh at. The plot always seems to fall back on shock humor when it seems unsure of where it wants to go. But there's never a punch line, just blood and guts. The guy from The Office hitting people with a wrench is a gimmick that can only go so far.