Movies that start promisingly yet end up mundane are a pet peeve of mine.
Super, director James Gunn’s pre-Guardians of the Galaxy flick about an ordinary man who dons a homemade superhero outfit in a quest to win back his wife from drug dealers, falls into this category. Featuring a host of satiric elements (including some pointed attacks on organized religion), the film collapses into dull, hyperviolent shoot-’em-up mode toward the end, which negates its previous appeal. The enthusiastic presence of Ellen Page as a sidekick wannabe gives the picture a boost, but even she can’t save it.
That’s too bad. Gunn has a distinct style and carefree sensibility that can be infectious, as proven by the success of GotG. Super, however, ultimately offers little to differentiate it from the average bloody man-with-a-mission actioner. This is strange considering the peculiarity of its protagonist, a withdrawn fellow (played by Rainn Wilson) who has religious visions and may be mistaking them for his heroic calling. The movie should be more interesting or at least comic, right? – especially since the only skill this character seems to have is the ability to cook eggs well. Perhaps something along the lines of The Greatest American Hero, no?
No. I expect better things to come from Gunn and have high hopes. Super was a misfire, but every director has those. I’m assuming Gunn has learned from his mistakes, as all heroes do.