Film & TV

Anti-Advent Calendar #16

Christmas. Our irreverence goes on with day sixteen of our Anti-Advent Calendar…

Given a sacred mission following a ‘fingering’ from God, the 2010 comedy-drama Super takes its viewers and its hero, if he can be classed as such a thing, on a surreal journey of ultra-violent vigilantism, pitch-black humour and possibly the worst costumes ever, all in the name of true love.

A psychologist’s wet dream, protagonist Frank (Rainn Wilson) finds himself at the end of a spectrum of social dysfunction (imagine Dwight Schrute armed with strong hallucinogens, and a wrench), as he takes on the world of crime as The Crimson Bolt. This is unusual, and sets the film aside from other superhero movies due to a lacking empathy for the hero. Instead, he’s actually pretty pitiful, and this suits the deflated feel of the film.

The irreverent Super is an original screenplay idea, written and directed by James Gunn, most recently known for the less gratuitous Guardians of the Galaxy. Unlike the latter, Super is darkly funny throughout, deriving from the juxtaposing fantasy world that Frank resides in, and moments of brutal reality. Forget Spider-Man’s “with great power…” bullshit. The Crimson Bolt’s “Shut up crime!” is much more to the point.

Will Lee

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Film & TV

Writer and Editor for the Film & TV section of Impact, Bharat is a keen previewer, reviewer and sometimes just viewer, of all things cinematic and televisual, with a particular passion for biographical pictures, adaptations and sitcoms.

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