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Super (2010) – Movie Review

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Warning: This post contains spoilers!!

Shut up, crime! “Super,” the movie review, is here! Before I started writing my latest movie review, I was going to focus on an 80s classic, but that’s going to have to come later, because “Super” seems to have caught my attention. The movie was filmed in the year 2010, released in April 2011. This was around the same time the first “Kick-Ass” movie hit the box-office. Being another superhero movie similar to “Kick-Ass,” “Super” was trapped in its casted shadow. Even when it was in theaters.

I’ve seen trailers of “Super,” before, and ever since I was a sophomore in high school, I’ve been meaning to go watch it. After I saw “Kick-Ass,” I was very curious as to what “Super” had to offer. The movie stars Rainn Wilson (From TV’s “The Office”), as a troubled middle-aged man who realizes that his true destiny was to fight crime, as a superhero. Judging from the previews and the fact that Rainn Wilson was cast as an anti-hero, like Aaron Taylor-Johnson in “Kick-Ass,” I obviously expected something along the lines of something utterly hilarious and full of awesome action. I thought, “This looks really goofy. I want to watch it!”

Super also stars several familiar actors, like Ellen Page (“Juno”), Kevin Bacon (“Footloose,” 1984), Liv Tyler (“Armageddon”), Nathan Fillion (TV’s “Castle”), and even Michael Rooker (TV’s “The Walking Dead”). Not only that, the movie was directed by James Gunn, the director of the raunchy horror film, “Slither.” You got to admit, it sounds like a great movie. However, despite the fact that the movie sounded worth watching, I was honestly dumbfounded after eventually watching it, three years after its theatrical release. “Super” IS NOT the movie you think it is! It does fall under the comedy and action/adventure genre, but it also falls under the “What The Hell Was That” genre. I’m dead serious.

“Super”  begins as a regular movie, with a soft beginning, where you get to know the main characters a little bit and know about their story. Rainn Wilson’s character, Frank Darbo, is a happy middle-aged man who is now content with his life. After marrying his wife, Sarah Darbo (Tyler), Frank has been able to move on from his life full of rejection and heartbreak. Everything is going great, until Sarah is ultimately victimized by a local drug lord, by the name of Jacque (Bacon), and ends up leaving Frank. As soon as Frank discovers this, he makes a desperate attempt to get his wife sober and out of the clutches of his new arch-nemesis. He fails. Frank is now heart-broken and rejected, once again. As the story continues to be awkwardly hilarious, and yet depressing, Frank discovers something he never thought he would. After watching a Christian Church program on the television, starring a religious figure known as The Holy Avenger, Frank receives a message from God Himself and realizes that his true purpose in life is to fight crime. After doing some research in libraries and comic books, about what it takes to be a superhero, Frank Darbo achieves a new identity known as The Crimson Bolt. The movie slowly transitions to not only a superhero comedy, but an extremely dark one.

super-rainn-wilson   When I was about 30 minutes into watching this film, I was quite convinced I was watching something completely unexpected, if not a different movie. The Crimson Bolt does not show any mercy when criminals fall, victimized to his wrath. If someone were to sell drugs, steal someone’s purse, or molest little children, The Crimson Bolt is there to beat them senseless with a pipe wrench. A f***ing pipe wrench. A pipe wrench is a tool used for plumbing services, it can weigh up to twenty pounds, and it is frequently used as a murder weapon. Can you imagine a masked stranger running at you with a PIPE WRENCH, gripped tight in his hand, about to beat you senseless with it?! That’s how the movie gets dark: Frank Darbo beating bad guys with a pipe wrench. At least they’re criminals and they deserve these punishments, right?

Well, when Frank is finally discovered by the media as The Crimson Bolt, he becomes a wanted man, rather than a superhero. Frank, however, does not give a damn. As long as criminals are getting what’s theirs, he believed he was always doing the right thing. You begin to see Frank’s character dramatically change from a normal human being, to a complete psychopath. At least that’s what I thought, at one point.

There’s one scene that’s so disturbing, that I couldn’t believe what the hell I was watching. The scene starts off when Frank is waiting in line, to see a movie, and a random gentleman cuts in line to meet a random woman. So, what does Frank do? He goes to his car, changes in his Crimson Bolt costume and splits the man’s head open, with the pipe wrench. Crimson Bolt not only beats the man for cutting in line, he also obstructs the woman for helping the man cut in line, in the first place! Damn!


super1          Anyway, earlier in the movie, Frank meets a comic book store clerk by the name of Libby (Page) and she eventually becomes Frank’s kid side-kick, Boltie. First off, let me say that I have a major crush on Ellen Page and I will flaunt and woo over her, at every chance I get. In the movie, we see Libby as a really chill comic book girl, who knows everything about superheroes. However, by the time Libby becomes Frank’s sidekick, we then see Libby as a psychopath also. Of course Frank is psycho also, but that’s for a good cause (if that makes sense). Libby, however, ends up attempting murder on someone who simply keyed her friend’s car.

Remember when I said that the movie gets super messed-up, after Frank starts beating people with a pipe wrench? Well, it gets worse, once Libby becomes Boltie.

            As the movie continues, Frank and Libby make a determined choice to not only fight evil, but to save Frank’s wife from the clutches of Jacque, the drug lord. With the lack of super hero abilities and fighting experiences, do you think Frank and Libby got what it takes? I’m not going to toss any spoilers out, so you’re just going to have to find out yourself.

“Super” is most definitely a movie that anyone would expect to be a goofy, rated “R” movie with coarse language, non-stop action, and hilarious jokes throughout. What most audiences, like me, won’t expect is that the movie has so much dark material, it’s almost indescribable. If you don’t believe me and think I’m just over-exaggerating, then watch the movie yourself and see what you’re really missing out on. At first, I thought that this movie was a psycho roller coaster that I never expected to have loopy-loops. It’s exactly like that, but the movie itself portrays a compelling message that I never thought would be embedded in this crazy movie. It portrays the message of “expecting the unexpected.”

rainn wilson super

             This may sound obvious, but the message also comes along with the emphasis of the fact that anyone will have a plan in their lives. A plan that will either change their lives, as well as many others’ lives, in the best way possible. As ironic as that sounds, the movie seems to prove that to be true, even with all the brutal violence, depressing sequences, and some of the most unnecessary events. Where I’m getting at is that this movie teaches you important life lessons, in the most messed-up ways possible. And honestly, it’s awesome! Never have I seen a movie with so much balls! At first glance, you may think that the movie is weird and crazy, but give it a second chance and I doubt you won’t realize how unique and cool it really is.

James Gunn’s movie didn’t get as good of ratings as I had hoped for it to be. It got 6.8/10 on IMDB and a rating of 4.9/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. In all honesty, “Super” deserved more than that. An 8/10 at least! Despite all of the messed-up material, “Super” does live up to its  name, with an awesome soundtrack, great acting, great action sequences, and of course great directing. So, when you get the chance, check out this movie. It’s a lot more “Super” than it appears. In conclusion, this movie deserves 4 out of 5 popcorn kernels. This movie is kick-ass. 

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Rating: 4/5 Popcorn kernels



About Jake Arasim (0 Articles)
Hey, dudes! My name is Jacob Arasim and, well, I love telling fiction, for the most part! I've been writing and illustrating my own stories/books ever since I was 5 and I never plan to stop! I love to write about comedy, sci-fi, horror, adventure, and sometimes "icky-romantics." I am majoring in English, with a Creative Writing emphasis, along with a Theatre Arts minor. I am 19 years-old, I like to be a goof, I love meeting new people, eating macaroni 'n' cheese, and just having a good time. I also enjoy lovely music bands such as the Pixies, Jack White, Sonic Youth, Belle & Sebastian, Nirvana, White Stripes, The Cure, Rage Against the Machine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, the list goes on! I also enjoy watching the Evil Dead and Harry Potter Movies, reading books, listening to records, going on runs, and just being a cool cat. Speaking of cats, I really LOVE CATS! That is all, enjoy my blog, and I appreciate you reading. Stay awesome!