We have all complained about how movie trailers can be misleading. When I watch a movie I have certain expectations. If I see a trailer for an action film I expect an action film and not a romantic comedy. Watch the trailer for the reality based superhero comedy Super below. Go ahead and watch it. I’ll wait.
Did you get the same impression I did? Going by this trailer I thought it was going to be a pretty funny film. Hopefully I’d finally get something better than Kick Ass, which I kind of hated. It had all the right elements to be an cult classic.
For one thing it boasts an amazing cast with Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon at his Baconist and Castle/Mal himself Nate Fillion. Even though I can take or leave Page the writer/director Dennis Dugan (who also made Slither) chose the right actors for their parts.
Rainn looked perfect for the role of Frank aka The Red Bolt, a man who loses his wife Liv to the evil gangster Jacques. Then I watched the movie on Netflix and I felt more than a little confused. Mixing genres can be a bit risky to begin with as waters can get muddied, leaving a bit of a mess. For one thing it is dark. Normally I love black comedies yet I felt the darkness overshadowed the lighter aspects leaving me more than a little depressed. All the darkness and brutality doesn’t give the story an edgier comic feel at all. From the trailer I thought Rainn was going to be kind of wacky. Instead I was more confused by what type of person he was. He came off more as brooding and distant if not a little deranged. I didn’t know if I should root for him or hope he gets a bullet between the eyes. You’d think his motivation for becoming a superhero would be to save his wife. I am not so sure. The idea first comes to him when he has a visit from a Bible Man type character played brilliantly by Fillion. With this he feels he is anointed by God to go forth and fight evil doers.
That kind of confused me a bit. I have watched Bible Man with my friends kids and found their portrayal as pretty darn accurate. The sincerity of The Red Bolt’s agenda and the horrific nature for which he ultimately plays it out made me wonder if Dugan was making fun of religion or felt it was a legitimate motivation. Though watching Fillion’s performance in such a small part I think I need to amend my Campbell clause to include a Fillion clause as well. Though the movie would have been more awesome if Bruce were in it as well.
The other part that confused me was the relationship between Wilson and Page. For one it appeared that Page was supposed to be a teenager, yet she lived on her own and could buy beer. Plus they had zero chemistry together at all. That isn’t even the worst part. In a moment that makes me go ewww Page, dressed in her Bolty costume, proceeds to try to seduce The Red Bolt. Another clause that needs to be in existence is Page should never be able to act seductively in a movie ever. It was neither funny or sexy, but creepy. Then she proceeds to rape The Red Bolt. You heard me right. Ellen Page rapes Rainn Wilson. The end result is Wilson puking in a toilet then having a vision of his wife in the chunks. That is about the time when I wondered what the hell I was watching.
There are a handful of redeemable moments in the film to make it worth watching. Just seeing Bacon and Fillion at their best albeit in brief roles is more than worth the time. I just wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for it. If you are ever bored just sort of half watch it waiting for those two to pop up. Don’t pay too close attention or you may need to take a shower afterwards like I did. I give it 2 wrenches out of five as Bacon and Fillion keep it from being an entirely creepy ick fest.