HE regulars know that I make many mistakes at many film festivals. And one of my errors at last September’s Toronto gathering was missing James Gunn‘s Super (IFC Films, 4.1). Not because I heard it was stupendous, but because a film that “looks and feels like a weird mixture of a feature length SNL digital short, Kick-Ass and a Troma Film,” as Slashfilm‘s Peter Sciretta described it six months ago, is probably better than Kick-Ass. And that would be welcome.
I missed a Manhattan screening of Super earlier this week, and I haven’t quite persuaded the 42West person who’s screening it in Los Angeles to advise about whatever’s coming up.
Everyone knows it’s basically about a loser schlub (Rainn Wilson) deciding to wear the suit and and the attitude of a super hero after losing his wife (Liv Tyler) to a drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), and eventually teaming with an irksome comic-book clerk (Ellen Page) who helps guide him into the superhero realm and later becomes his Chloe Moretz-y sidekick.
“There are moments of brilliance,” Sciretta wrote, “surrounded by moments of bad sketch comedy. Page is the highlight…hilarious as the psychotic sidekick who’s looking to fight crime (even where/when it might not exist). Super also has some good character-based emotional moments [perhaps better suited to] a Jason Reitman film,” and which “feel a bit out of place and unearned in this movie.”