There’s a really extraordinary movie playing in theaters this weekend; it is not, however, the one I happened to see last night. Because I had relatives visiting who had already seen Win Win (Tom McCarthy’s superb indie comic drama that will win win all sorts of awards come next winter), I announced that we would in fact see the new movie Super. Which I’d heard was “a great dark comedy”.
It’s a movie that’s going to make a lot of people very happy, although I’m not one of them. Here’s why:
Let me preface this by saying that I was one of about seven people in North America who didn’t think Black Swan was the boldest, most inspired flick of 2010. They had called it a “psycho-sexual thriller” and I could have used a little more “sexual” and a lot less “psycho”. Plus, I have a pretty weak stomach, and call me crazy but the minute feathers protrude from anyone’s shoulder blade or skin gets forcibly removed from one’s fingers, I get a little squeamish. Cracked mirrors and shards of glass? Another red flag. I really hate to be scared.
But again, that’s just me.
Super is a very smart dark comedy. Subversive and seductive. Here, I could have used a lot less “dark” and a lot more “comedy”. Because even though Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page are both superb, when movies are this violent I have trouble focusing on anything else. No matter how compelling Wilson’s loser vigilante is, the second he wields a pipe wrench and directs it towards people’s foreheads, they lose me. The movie is a fable about a regular old schlub who takes justice into his own hands when his wife runs off with a notorious gangster. The lines are stylized and the characters sharply drawn in their polar extremes – my question with films like this is why do they have to be so bloody? If everything else has a comic-book feel, why base your slashes, gashes, punctures, and bullet wounds in such graphic reality? Clearly I am in a minority…lots of people are going to devour this picture (it’s for the people who loved Kick-Ass et al). And there are parts of Super that are indeed hilarious. I guess the reason I’m even broaching it is because I know a lot of our PCA readers have kids, and a lot of those kids are going to want to see this movie. It’s actually unrated; nor is the extreme violence depicted in the movie’s trailer. So this is just by way of preparing you for what may feel like a kind of brutal (if funny) movie-going experience. If blood, guts and pipe wrenches do not perturb you, by all means go see it for the acting alone (because that part is awesome).
Maybe I shoulda seen Hop after all.
1) Bad Santa