Super

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Less a darker version of Kick-Ass than a humor-challenged and smug one, Super represents the indie world at its snobbiest and most faux provocative. Dressing up in spandex and righteousness---yet suffering real-world beatings---only works as a poetic concept if your characters welcome us into their vulnerability. (It's especially unsettling when your ultraviolent hero is an 11-year-old girl, as in Kick-Ass.) In this case, though, we have The Office's Rainn Wilson, never without his ironic quote marks, playing an abandoned husband and religious-TV-obsessed nut who brandishes a heavy wrench to get some payback on the gold-toothed crime lord (Bacon) who cuckolded him. Innocents who trip into the way ought to watch themselves as well.

The movie, picked up by IFC as a potential midnight sensation from the Toronto Film Festival's underwhelming offerings, provides zero satisfaction, even for self-congratulatory tastes: As a satire, it's toothless, while as comedy, it's squirm-inducing (writer-director James Gunn is a Troma veteran). Almost as an in-joke at the expense of her breakout role in Juno, Ellen Page plays a comics-reading sidekick, "Boltie," a spouter of an endless stream of snark. What viewer could possibly laugh at---or even appreciate in a pointy-headed way---an outcome that splashes her with unnecessary gore? Skip this one, even if your hipster significant other whines a blue streak.

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Release details

Release date: Friday April 1 2011
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Gunn
Cast: Rainn Wilson
Kevin Bacon
Liv Tyler
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