Last week at WonderCon in San Francisco, BabbleOn had a chance to see a screening of SUPER starring Rain Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon, and Liv Tyler. In a similar style as Kick Ass and Defendor, Super is another story about an ordinary guy trying to fight injustice in cruel and harsh world. Absent super powers or techno-gadgets, Rainn Wilson must dish out his brand of justice armed with nothing more than a monkey wrench and the bold name Crimson Bolt. As you come to expect with Rainn Wilson, the humor is dead-pan and the action is about as graceful as an hyperactive ostrich. Along the way, we run into other colorful characters like The Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion) and a plucky sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page). Super is also super graphic. So graphic that it makes Kick Ass look like the Saturday morning Super Friends cartoon. Dispensing justice with a wrench is pretty messy after all. The first half of this story is quite comical, borderline absurd. However, just about when you think the jokes run out, Super takes a turn for the unexpected. There is a distinct tonal shift and the journey of the characters take a much more serious direction. It’s disorienting at first but also feels like the right step. Super also wrestles with some interesting themes of aloneness and destiny. Even though it parodies Christian culture, it also unapologetically explores divine calling and purpose. From my perspective, it takes an irreverently revenant view of God and how He works in our lives. As a person of faith, I didn’t mind it but found it refreshing. Without spoiling it, Super’s ‘non-Hollywood’ ending is fitting and solid conclusion for this story. The tone it ends on might not be for everyone but I found it very satisfying.
At WonderCon, we were privileged to have Director James Gunn after the screening for a Q&A. This was a passion project for him and not some big budgeted production. All the actors worked for beans and committed to this project because of their desire to be a part of something different. Super is exactly that. if you liked kick Ass, can stomach graphic violence, and love Rainn Wilson, then this is the movie for you.
I give it 4 out of 5 Babbles.