In Super, the unbelievable happens: Dwight Schrute becomes a badass. After his wife is taken by a group of drug dealing gangsters, a God-fearing man named Frank (Rainn Wilson) dons the alter ego of the Crimson Bolt to take down crime once and for all. He joins forces with sidekick Bolty, played by a spandex-clad Ellen Page.
Super is a limited release superhero movie that is currently playing On Demand. Pegged as a comedy, the movie plays out more like an odd morality tale with action. Quirky but not funny, Super is a strangely alluring little film that doesn't offer anything groundbreaking but works more often than not.
Wilson is effective in the lead, delivering a performance considerably different than what most audiences expect from him. While still weird, his character is amusingly violent, if not slightly insane. If he's insane, Page is completely off her rocker; the Oscar nominated actress has way too much fun with her role as Frank's sadistic, sex-craved sidekick.
Super, written and directed by James Gunn (Slither), survives largely on the performances by Wilson and Page, as well as the dark nature of the story's script. While not very funny, the fact that the superheroes are more violent and psychotic than the villains they've vowed to eliminate makes the picture worth it.
The movie does struggle to find its footing; at only an hour and a half it's fast-paced and entertaining, but takes a while to get going. If the first two acts are simply adequate, the third act makes up for them, however. The climax is deliciously violent and kickass, full of explosions, gunfire and stabbings.
Super isn't perfect, but it's a pleasantly dark action-comedy with some highly entertaining moments and good performances by the film's leads. It isn't for everyone, but offers something a bit different from typical Hollywood fare.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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