Super, as I’m sure you all know because you just watched the trailer, is the latest film by James Gunn, the deviant mind that brought us Slither, about a man who has decided to become a super hero. To give just enough back story, it’s very similar to Kick-Ass but with one major difference; its way more f**ked up. Here are the main points that kind of weirded me out, without giving too much away.
The beginning is very similar to Kick-Ass in terms of story structure. Frank (Rainn Wilson), seemingly had no real prior exposure to super hero’s before watching an episode of the Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion) as opposed to Kick Ass whose Mom died of a brain embolism or something something SCIENCE! Suddenly, Frank has a bee in his bonnet to stop crime and does so by dressing as the crimson bolt and beating people with a plumbers wrench. He goes out, posting signs telling “Crime” that he’s coming, much like Kick Ass made a…. what was it?…. *Googles Kick-Ass*…. WTF is MySpace? Whatever…. to advertise their badass-e-ness.
Both are obviously out of a need to feel something other than they are feeling, which kind of digs at the heart of a lot of the current super hero trend. Super hero’s become hero’s for a lot of different reasons but the most overwhelming is just to feel something different. At least as far as the movies go, some do it to get away from guilt (Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man) while others do it to make the rest of us look like assholes (Superman, Captain America)
But those are really where the similarities end. While both movies are very, very violent, Super is more visceral in its violence. There are no sweeping ballets of Big Daddy or Hit Girl taking out numerous thugs. It’s mostly just Rainn Wilson beating people with a wrench until the very end where guns finally come into play.
Now Libby (Ellen Page) is where Frank gets all his super hero knowledge. She’s basically like me, filled with nerdy knowledge about comic books and stuff but in a much more demented package. Kind of like a shitzu on steroids this girl does some crazy stuff. And I mean just… weird. She eventually figures out that Frank is the Crimson Bolt and forces him to accept her as his sidekick Boltie. This is the point where the movie moves from kind of violent to blood everywhere.
It’s also the point not where the movie lost me, but kind of overwhelmed me. It kind of turned from watching a super hero movie into watching something more akin to Full Metal Jacket. Everyone kind of starts to lose it and by the end I felt a little…. violated. Not in a good way, but not necessarily in a bad way. Most superhero movies leave you wanting to be like the hero, saving the day and doing some good. But this ending leaves me feeling like even attempting to be a superhero would be a bad idea.
It’s a very honest ending, that I won’t ruin, that totally falls in line with the spirit of the movie. It’s just that this movie makes me just happy to have what I have and not have to go through what Frank went through; some very serious catharsis.