When life starts bringing you down and you feel like you’re face is touching the floor, it’s time to fight back. Slap life in the face! Drag it onto the floor with you! Smash life’s skull in with a wrench! Smash it! Crack it! Watch the blood flow! Wait… what was I saying? I just got too caught up being super.
Super is an indie film which de-constructs the superhero genre in much the same way as Kick Ass does, but with a harsher tone to the reality of playing hero. Being an indie film it has a selection of trappings that come with the territory, particularly a quirky girl and a lead who draws crap pictures and sticks them around his room. But it swerves the fate which tries to smash it in the crotch thanks to dealing with this quirks with substance and lack of indulgence. The drawings align perfectly with our hero Frank (Rainn Wilson) who is a lonely guy who deals with things through visions and drawing. The quirky girl Libby (Ellen Page) is the type of girl you’d actually expect to see obsessing over comics and so the indie warnings are subdued thanks to logically working in the world that’s been created. Phew.
The world in hand is an incredibly grim America, the perfect place to house Frank and his troubles. Thanks to the state of the country, his wife Sarah (Liv Taylor) has left him for the snickering drug dealer Jacques (Kevin Bacon), and so thanks to a few helpful pointers from his holy visions (and a tentacle brain rape scene…) he decides to don the costume of a hero and get her back! And so he has one thing to say as he wanders around looking like a fool with his trusty wrench and mental comic book obsessive side kick Libby. Shut up crime!
The story revolves around the interesting concept of real vigilantism and how it can turn into something grisly if the vigilante ends up losing his mind. An awesome soundtrack and kick ass comic caption style moments bring some fun to the table, but this is a grim outing, though some hilarious dark humour is spread over the intense level of gore and tragedy. It goes in a completely different direction to Kick Ass which became the genre it was poking fun at, and keeps things in a reality we can all believe. The gore and bleakness may be too much for some, but it will leave a strong after image no matter how you take it all in.
Super is a story with a strong heart. One which bursts its juices over the screen. If you’re thinking of cleaning up the streets in your own way, they should serve as a lesson on how it may end up for you. But at least the criminals you meet won’t be butting the line and molesting kids anymore.