Friday, April 22, 2011

As funny as being hit with a wrench

Geek power carried to a vicious extreme.
Here's another movie about a geek who attempts to transform himself into a superhero. The fact that Kick-Ass already filled that bill makes Super mostly superfluous. The fact that the movie's superhero -- played by Rainn Wilson -- decides to use a pipe wrench to beat evildoers senseless undermines Super's attempts at humor. * If there's any saving grace here -- and it turns out to be a small one -- it arrives in the person of Ellen Page, who plays Wilson's sidekick. He's the Crimson Bolt, and she's Boltie. * Page brings comic exuberance to a movie that desperately needs it. * But the rest? Liv Tyler plays a drug addict who falls under the sway of a rock musician (Kevin Bacon). The trouble: She's engaged to Wilson's character, a short-order cook who becomes a superhero to liberate the love of his life from the clutches of addiction. * Super not only follows in the footsteps of better movies, but can't really convince us that its violence should be taken as an expression of cartoon zest. * A total commitment to the dark side might have made Super more interesting, but in this battle between humor and menace, no one emerges a winner.

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