Toronto Review & Video: James Gunn's Newest Comedy 'Super'
by Alex Billington
September 11, 2010
My first Midnight Madness film of the Toronto Film Festival this year was Slither director James Gunn's new "superhero" comedy Super, starring Rainn Wilson as The Crimson Bolt (as pictured above). It's one of those wacky regular-citizen-decides-to-become-a-crime-fighter comedies in the same vein as Kick-Ass or Defendor, but with Gunn's own badass, unique comedic and stylistic touch. It's a helluva lot of fun and it's one of those hilarious indie comedies that you have to watch with a group of people (because everyone will be cheering) but unfortunately I didn't love it. I had a great time watching it, but I still love Kick-Ass more.
Wilson stars as Frank D'Arbo, a simple religious man whose wife, played by Liv Tyler, leaves him for a drug dealing kingpin, played effortlessly by Kevin Bacon. He has a vision one night and is "touched by the finger of God" (literally) and decide to become The Crimson Bolt, a masked crime fighter beating up drug dealers and line-butters with a pipe wrench. Along the way he meets comic book fanatic Libby, played amazingly by Ellen Page, who becomes his sidekick Boltie. It's a fun story, it's a great cast, it's a bit better than Defendor, it's crazy violent and overly realistic (so that's what happens when you beat someone with a pipe wrench!), but it didn't really take the comedic vigilante concept to the next level like I was really hoping this would.
That said, if you're a fan of James Gunn or Rainn Wilson or you really like this concept, Super is a must see, just because it is so fun and it is very well done for an extremely low budget film. After the screening, Peter from SlashFilm and Frosty from Collider and I met up to record a video blog of our reactions to Super, which you can check out below. So for a more varied and well-rounded review of the film, watch the video.