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Published on March 8th, 2011 | by Aaron


Tease Me, Baby! – Super

For a while this James Gunn film was being touted as “another Kick-Ass” and on a purely superficial level I can see where the comparison comes from. A guy with no powers decides to become a super-hero. Things get violent. He meets a tiny girl who wants to be violent. However, these visual comparisons seem to be where the connections stop.

For one, this story is not based on any comic book. The plot centers around Rainn Wilson, his character loses his wife to another man and decides that this is some sort of injustice and decides to fight such things with a secret identity and a costume. Super is also very clearly an indie kind of film. The shine of Kick-Ass’ budget is nowhere to be seen here.

Anyway, enough of my yammering, check out the trailer and lets dissect this thing.

I have to admit, all the things I’ve heard about this movie have given me some issues with it’s story but this trailer did look fun. Lets go through some of the main points.

– Crossing The Line

To give you an impression with just how pathetic Rainn Wilson’s character is we get a nice introduction at the start. His wife doesn’t want him to touch her and he doesn’t say anything. She leaves and when he confronts her new lover the most he can really muster is to mess up his turtle wax.

Even Kevin Bacon (who is playing every bad-guy ever right now) is so unimpressed that he leaves. Right off the bat the trailer sets the tone that this guy is a loser of the highest order. While this is a good thing because obviously we can see his progression to a better person by the end of the film, it makes me pretty unsympathetic to his plight of not keeping a hottie like Liv Tyler. I hope they show us in the film why I would want them to stay together.

– Comic Conned

Our hero (?) goes to a comic book store to find inspiration on how to fight the battles in his life and is looking for recommendations on what kind of weapon to wield in this fight. Ellen Page shows him around and gives him an idea or two.

I’ve a couple of philosophical problems with this. I won’t bore you with all of them but one is that the weapon he chooses in the end is a spanner. Not very heroic is it? Realistic? probably, but if he wields a spanner then what was the point in sending him to the comic book store in the first place? He obviously isn’t getting his inspiration from any actual character so why make that connection? Most heroes don’t use weapons, they’re the unusual heroes rather than the norm.


I have a funny feeling that when this goes on general release we’re going to be hearing “shut up, crime” being imitated everywhere. It has a fun simplicity to it and is quite likely to take off.

– Big Finish

It appears from everything here that by the end it’s just going to be an unremorseful shoot-out kill-fest of the nasty kind. Wilson’s character kind of has an almost retarded understanding of cause-and-effect and it appears that the only way to get his wife back will be to burn down the house she has moved into.

This all brings me to my overall feeling towards the film and the main issue I have with it…


When a super hero film is made that isn’t based on comics, the film becomes a comment on comics and/or comic readers. Whether consciously or not, the film becomes a window into the writer’s feelings toward the genre.

With Super‘s lead character being an emotionally stunted, closet psychopath and his sidekick being an even more extreme aggressive nut-ball it is clear how James Gunn feels. And personally that disappoints me a little. It’s a little insulting that the message seems to be that this is what comic heroes are and worse, this is what comic readers have inside them.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I’m still fascinated to see the film. I like everyone involved, Kevin Bacon looks like he’ll be fun to watch and there could be some laughs along the way. But I can’t help shake the feeling that this film is laughing at me more than with me.

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