Released the same year as Kick-Ass, Super tells the story of a socially awkward cook who turns to superhero vigilantism after he believes a drug dealer had kidnapped his wife. Becoming the Crimson Bolt, he beats up crime with a pipe wrench, and is joined later by his femme fatale sidekick Boltie.
This film has a critical flaw with its mood. On the one hand it is an empowering, comical and sincere look at one man’s fight against non-existence in society, while on the other hand, it is a bloody, violent, surreal and black comedy.
There were plenty of moments I enjoyed, mostly when our hero is trying to be a vigilante for the first time, and even the hyper-violent ending. But for every solid moment there was a disturbing scene or tone just around the corner. The Crimson Bolt’s motivation is a televised superhero Jesus? Religion inspires vigilantism now? This is only the tip of the iceberg for some pretty questionable ethics surrounding our hero and the overarching storyline the film is providing.
Ellen Page plays a great show-stealing performance as the side kick Boltie, and Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler are there too, but are perhaps underused due to the focus on our hero’s mental neuroses. A really tough call, as some elements were perfect yet the overall tone felt obscure, I feel as though I should have enjoyed it more than I did.
Additional Marshmallows: Nathan Fillion playing a superhero Jesus is… indescribable really.