Super Film Review
"Super" I would call a very interesting film. It probably wouldn't win any awards and it goes down like a thumb tack/battery acid smoothy but there are certainly a lot of action and impressive acting on behalf of both Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page. Many will remember Wilson as the slightly off paper salesman from the office while Page has made the leap from Canadian film and TV into films such as Juno and more recently inception. I've always admired Wilson for his comedy on the office and felt he should be getting major film roles and being Canadian I've seen Page in Canadian television and film before her big name status began.
In this film our hero a near middle aged fry cook named Frank begins loses his wife to her drug habit and his wife leaves with her dealer. Distraught Frank sinks into depression, unlike anyone else in the film he believes in marriage as a sacred bond and is an upstanding guy. After awhile he is inspired by an unusual superhero program on TV and creates his own costume to fight crime. After a short time of masquerading around town doling out severe beatings to people for various crimes he sets his sights on freeing his with from her dealer and addiction.
Frank sneaks unto the grounds of the dealers mansion, apparently he is a fairly wealthy dealer engaged in securing million dollar drug deals. His compound has it's own security. In this first attempt Frank is attacked by security and shot in the leg. He barely makes it back to his car alive and narrowly escapes. Now unable to return home he goes to the home of a girl he met at the local comic book store. Unlike Frank who considers what he does as the Crimson Bolt to be a calling and a cross he must bear Libby thinks it is awesome and wants in on the action. Libby throughout the film shows that she is quite unhinged and is constantly swearing, laughing and otherwise being weird.
Donning a somewhat sensual costume of her own she finally convinces Frank to allow her to become Boltie his sidekick. Before they go after the dealer again they decide to get their feet wet with a little crimefighting. Meanwhile a policeman who recognizes Frank as the Crimson Bolt goes to Frank's home looking for him. Upon arrival he is shot in the head three times by the dealer's thugs who were waiting for Frank.
Libby tells Frank about a guy who keyed her friend's car and as they have had little luck waiting for crime to happen go to his home to teach him a lesson. Upon arrival at his home Libby smashes a crystal vase into the guy's face and caught up in the moment nearly kills him with a statue. Frank stops her and tells her that they don't kill people over keying cars. She admits she thinks he did it but didn't seem sure. Frank angry at her tells her she's fired and stops at a gas station to get gas.
While pumping gas Frank is attacked by the dealers thugs that happen to be getting gas as well. After chasing Frank down the street Libby in the back seat of his car jumps into the front seat and drives after them. The thugs kick Frank several times as Frank tries to fight back then one of them pulls a gun on Frank. Before the thug can fire Frank's car with Libby at the wheel plows into the thug pinning him to a brick wall. Frank grabs the gun and shoots the other thug. Libby gets out of the car and rants to the thug on the front of the car and swears a blue streak, cackling and laughing letting everyone know what happens when you mess with the Crimson Bolt and Boltie. Frank throws her into the back of the car and drives away from the scene of onlookers.
Upon returning to Libby's Frank allows her to become his sidekick again as she saved his life. Libby tries to come on to Frank asking him to make out but he turns her down as he is married. She seems a little sad about this as she seems to be developing feelings for Frank. After this Frank and Libby go to a gun shop and purchase guns and supplies to create pipe bombs and other weapons. Libby sees that public opinion on TV of their actions have turned from bad to good and is excited even more about their partnership.
Later that night Libby wearing her Boltie costume tries to seduce Frank. As Frank doesn't want to be with her she jumps on top of him and practically forces herself on him. Frank horrified pushes her off and vomits in the bathroom. Realizing that the only way to redeem himself is to go save his wife he grabs his weapons and he and Libby go to the dealers compound.
For the first little bit their partnership pays off as they both take out a few of the guards without incident but when several of them begin firing at them they both get shot. Having worn a bullet proof vest Frank is OK, however when frank crawls to Libby he sees she was shot in the head and is dead. In a rage Frank pulls out his pipe bombs and systematically kills the rest of the guards. He enters the house and kills more of the dealer's men until he meets the dealer and his wife with upstairs.
The dealer shoots frank a few times but Frank gains the upper hand and stabs the dealer to death. After this his wife returns home with him for a few months and helps him recover. Although she realizes she was wrong and does care about him she ends up leaving him again anyway. This time though she stays clean gets and education and marries another man who loves her and has 4 kids. Frank is left alone in a room with his pet bunny.
Super plays something like a combination of a comedic superhero flick mixed with a Quentin Tarantino style film like pulp fiction or Kill Bill complete with a violent girl. The film shifts from comedic jokes, to silly banter, to animated shock humor all without missing a beat. It is incredibly unusual but the story is fairly linear.
Overall I would say it is a film to see for the stars in it and because it is so incredibly interesting. But I will say this there are a few things that left a bad taste in my mouth and somewhat left me scared from seeing it. The part of Libby getting together with Frank even though she kind of forced her self on him. But he is a grown man and could have stopped her especially if as portrayed throughout the film he was so dedicated to his wife. Also with Libby being such a firecracker throughout the film you couldn't help but cheer for her a bit and she just seemed better than that. Also with her instant and unexpected death it seemed so ill timed and horribly written into the story.
The last and biggest issue I had with the film was the fact that even though Frank is the most upstanding character throughout the film dedicated to his wife and always trying to do what is right in the end he still suffers the death of his ally and the eventual departure of his wife. Even though Frank realizes that his wife left him but still got her life back with his help I still can't help feeling despair on his behalf. He is alone again as he was when she first left, he has no one and realistically where does he go from here that could make this story a true happy ending?
Anyways check it out, let me know what you think.
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