Directed: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Released: September 2010
Starring: Rainn Wilson, [the awesome] Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon
Wow. Okay. Where do I start? I stumbled across this film when I was searching for all the movies that Ellen Page has starred in (she’s one of my favourites actresses). Loving superhero movies anyway I thought that this was going to be a genius concoction of fantastic actors and an epic storyline…
I can’t, unfortunately, say that this was the case. The trailer is a bit misleading, portraying it solely as a comedy. However, the genre of this film is most certainly a BLACK comedy. Very sadistic, violent and rather gruesome. It would be a superhero version of the black comedy A Film With Me In It (featuring Dylan Moran) which I found equally disturbing.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy sadistic and gruesomely bloody movies. I love Quentin Tarentino’s Inglorious Basterds and horrors such as Scream and House of Wax. However, black comedies I find to have a different reaction to. Maybe because it tends to be average Joes committing crimes that are beyond their moral capabilities. Or because there tends to be little remorse or reflection by the characters involved.
Of course, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are two movies that are extremely impressive black comedies that have got the balance perfect between the two opposing genres.
So, getting over the sudden shock when I realised that there will be less comedic value than I expected. I love the idea of an bog-standard guy deciding to take crime into his own hands. Known as The Crimson Bolt (Wilson) and his 22-year-old manic, obsessive and highly inappropriate (and dodgy) “kid” side-kick Boltie (Page), armed with a wrench and Wolverine-inspired claws, they take care of the city’s drug dealers and robbers.
“SHUT UP CRIME!”
“DON’T DO DRUGS!”
“DON’T MOLEST KIDS!”
I do like the quirkiness and the comic-related characteristics that remind me of Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Very cool indeed.
There were a few too many scenes that I thought were just crude. Not funny, nor necessary to the storyline. I also thought that the main character Frank/The Crimson Bolt was a bit… Blank. I know that he’s not supposed to be the brightest bulb in the tanning bed, perhaps a modern day cross between Forrest Gump and Harold Crick (Stranger Than Fiction), but I don’t think he had enough emotion for the audience to really feel for him or understand where he was coming from, making me feel distant from the protagonist.
It has been a common comment by critics that this story has been told before via Kick-Ass released before Super. I can most certainly relate to this. Not only was it a very similar concept, I also found that they shared the same sort of audience. It was a superhero film targeting a much more mature audience rather that the light-hearted feel-good moral superhero movies.
Over all, a disappointment. Yet, I still feel attached to the universally popular idea of being a superhero and what would happen.
Jodie’s rating: 5/10
I love Ellen Page. She’s hilarious.