Movie Review - Superhero Movie

Director: Craig Mazin (2008)
Starring: Leslie Neilsen, Drake Bell, Sara Paxton
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

I’m not going to say that Superhero Movie is better than the latest Scary Movies (although it is). I’m not going to say that it’s better than Meet the Spartans (it is), Epic Movie or Disaster Movie (it probably is). Because any praise is both incidental and undeserving. What I will say is this: Superhero Movie is the worst superhero movie ever made. It’s less funny than Batman & Robin and the special effects, acting and characterisation is worse than can be found in any of the Fantastic Fours, X-Men, Spider-men or, indeed, any other film of similar ilk. You know you’re onto a bad thing when Jessica Alba’s acting looks good by comparison.

The plot pretty much follows that of Spider-Man throughout, only with added swearing and fart jokes. There’s the odd detour into Batman or X-Men territory, but this is foremost a Spider-Man spoof. To recap, Rick Riker (Drake Bell) is bitten by a Dragonfly and – after developing super powers – becomes Dragonfly Man. Yep, the filmmakers couldn’t even be bothered to develop a decent superhero, and just seemingly chose a random insect for Rick to transform into. There’s no joke there, and you suspect that they’d probably have stuck Bell in a spider outfit would it not be too blatant a rip-off. His foe is the similarly derivative Hourglass (Christopher McDonald), and you’ve also got the Mary-Jane figure (played by Sarah Paxton), a pointless black best friend (Kevin Hart, who seems like he’s auditioning for an idiot Chris Tucker lookalike competition) and Leslie Nielsen as Rick’s uncle.

The movie itself is every bit as bad as you’d imagine and worse. It’s less funny than every single movie it spoofs, and nowhere near as offensive or irreverent as it probably thinks it is. In fact, Superhero Movie is so predictable, dull and idiotic that I’d go so far as to label it the most depressing movie of the year. It’s more depressing than the Dark Knight or the bit in Spider-Man where Uncle Ben bites it. There’s nothing more depressing than bad comedy, and this is very bad comedy. The only vaguely funny moments come when Leslie Nielsen is onscreen, and that isn’t nearly enough. The rest of the jokes rely on (a) someone falling over/being hit in the face (b) someone farting/pissing/puking (c) Steven Hawking swearing (c) superheroes being presented in a different fashion to which we’re accustomed.

If I could recommend this film to anyone, it’d be to Marvel comics in the hope that they might sue. Superhero Movie is a terrible film, and makes other movies look bad by comparison, just by including the word ‘Movie’ in the title. In fact, Superhero Movie represents a reasonable argument for shutting down the movie industry altogether and never making another film ever again; superhero themed or otherwise.


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