At the beginning of this year I made some what of a promise to myself, maybe even a new years resolution, that i would go to more film festivals. I guess in my case, I would go to A film festival, seeing as though i had never been to a proper one. And to my surprise Florida has a few decent ones, and actually attract some good films.
So my first stop on the festival circuit would be the Sarasota Film Festival. And the first film would be "Super", the new Film from James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet, Slither). Now, I'm assuming that everyone who hears about this film or sees the trailer will automatically think it's basically "Kick Ass". Which is not the case. Yes, there are obvious similarities. A "normal" guy is sick of all the crime and wrong doings in his town and decides the best way to go about solving this is to become a vigilante super hero. But more of a "Kick Ass" with a low budget.
Where its differs from that film is it's dark points. Very dark points. The times when you're not sure if you should laughs, the others where you do and you know you shouldn't have. They do leave you a bit shocked and throw you off a bit, but you're soon taken back to a land of fun, by means of a knife to the dick. You just need to know going into the film that it's not a full on comedy. It's similar to the way "The Break Up" was billed as one (in no way as good a film as this), and ended up having no laughs at all and being completely depressing. Now that's not exactly how "Super" is, but just know it's not going to be non stop comedy.
The cast was picture perfect. Rainn Wilson plays Frank D'arbo/ The Crimson Bolt, and right from the start you have a feeling that he's not completely sane (but who is), by the end you know he's not completely sane. Delivering his brand of justice to pederasts and queue cutters alike. The Crimson Bolt will stop at nothing until he gets his wife, Sarah back. Played by Liv Tyler, though not in the film too much, does her part as a convincing drug addict, who knows shes gotten herself into some shit and knows Frank is the only one that can save her. Kevin Beacon, who plays Jacques, the man who lured Sarah away, is sensational in his comedic timing and all around scum bagginess, you almost believe every rotten thing he says. Then there's Ellen Page (who looks pretty cute by the way), who comes in as Boltie, The Bolts comic shop sidekick. Who after seeing how much she "wants to be with frank", you can easily tell she's just removed from reality as Frank, maybe even more so. With that being said, she played it to a t.
I was very impressed with the film, and by the way Gunn was able to make you care about the characters, even when they're not so much stopping crime, but just being a menace to the public they're supposed to be protecting. Gunn was able to craft a film that's fun, disgusting, in bad taste and more heartfelt than any i've seen in the recent past. How this hasn't gotten a wider release, i don't know. But i'm hoping it does.
Another reason i dug this film was that, it being a very low budget film (a lot of it filmed at Gunn's home), everyone involved took the lowest pay that the SAG would allow. Which I imagine for Wilson, Page and Beacon is probably a good sized pay cut. So you know it was a project that the cast and the crew believed in.
This film is another example as to why critics are pointless. The same with a recent film I reviewed (Red State) where people complain about random bullshit, mostly the fact of the comedy is broken up with some REAL shit. Which was the main reason i liked this film. Blame the marketing team, not the filmmaker, for them hyping it as a comedy. Which brings me back to this initial argument... It's not "Kick Ass". That film really had no base in reality, with people having arsenals of weapons and jet packs. However "Super" is reality. It's what happens when people think they can achieve when they're no more than a piece of shit. It's what happens when People cry, and it's not pretty, people bleed, and people die. That's life.
I've just realized how much energy i've put into defending this film. It's a hot flick, i enjoyed it. I recommend you check it out, willing they give it a decent release. (I hope) you won't be disappointed.