Tuesday, April 1, 2008

FILM REVIEW: Superhero Movie

The Short Version: It is worth seeing and was a lot funnier than I thought it would be. Definitely give it a see if you can catch a cheap show or once it is out on video.

1. Fair Warning - the movie poster and the trailers are a total lie. This movie is not, in fact, a parody of a whole bunch of different superhero movies or one big mockery of the Marvel Comics universe. It is, baring a few random scenes that don't have much to do with anything, a fairly straight-forward parody of the first Spider-Man movie.

This is, however, a good thing as the worst material in the movie involves Our Hero's brief visit to Xavier's School for Gifted Non-Asian Kids. The best gag in the whole sequence is one that was cut from the movie but included in the closing credits as we see the unfortunate mutant with toilet-paper dispensing claws who has the unfortunate task of wiping Wolverine's ass. Why? Well, apparently this Wolverine can't retract his claws.

I freely admit this is disgusting and unfunny. However, this is freaking Marx Brothers compared to the rest of the scene, the gags involving Professor Xavier's wife and children (all bald and in wheelchairs) and Pamela Anderson's cameo appearance as Invisible Girl.

2. Speaking of which - all of Pamela Anderson's appearance in the movie is in the trailers. Seriously. She's in the movie for about 30 seconds. So if you're just going to see this movie for Pam, stay home. Despite this, I still think she did a much better job with the part than Jessica Alba.

3. Drake Bell plays Rick Riker. Good choice for the lead as he looks like Brandon Routh's skinny cousin and sounds like Michael J. Fox. Perfect faux Parker in other words.

4. I'd be willing to bet this entire movie started with the concept of "Leslie Nielsen is Uncle Ben" and went from there. And that's not a bad thing at all. Because while the movie does recycle a lot of jokes from The Naked Gun (Superhero Movie's penultimate gag is exactly the same as Naked Gun's final gag), Nielsen is still a skilled enough performer to make them new.

Nearly all the best moments in the movie have Nielsen involved in them, from his attempts at refuting Rick's "You're not my real father!" complaints (I raised you like a father would! I had sex with your mother like your father did!) to the funeral that had me rolling in my chair as Nielsen attempted to negotiate his way through the fine print on a coupon.

Don't ask. Just watch.

5. Best joke that got cut? A direct reference to the first Spider-Man - in which Rick watches the girl of his dreams through her bedroom window as she is getting dressed and she "just happens" to have a stripper pole there.

6. Best joke that was left in the movie? It involves the revelation that due to budget cutbacks The Daily Bugle is now having to share its' building with an insane asylum.

7. Biggest question after the movie was over? How long before Keith Giffen sues over this?

Ambush Bug and Dragonfly? Separated at birth? You be the judge!

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