Wednesday, 25 June 2014

15 Second Review: Super

After recommending Super to a colleague recently, I dug out my copy to watch the wonderful opening credits sequence (which I might devote an entire post to in the future). I did not mean to watch the entire movie again, but I was completely sucked in. On its release, Super received negative responses from reviewers regarding its uneven tone and pacing. In fairness, it is easy to see why Gunn's approach would irritate filmgoers who do not like confrontation. However, these criticisms are unfair inasmuch as the tonal shifts are clearly intentional. Gunn allows the audience to become swept up in the conventions of superhero storytelling, then pulls the rug, revealing the stark reality under the spandex (ewwww). This pattern repeats numerous times, and necessarily so: Gunn makes a running joke of (a) conventionality's power once normalised; (b) how willing audiences are to play along with genre cliches, and (c) how willing audiences are to cheer on heroes who commit violence in the name of justice, even if it means overlooking the evident signs of psychosis. Some - I hope many - filmgoers will laugh along at their own gullibility. Others will hate being made to feel foolish, or will bemoan that Super simply is not Kick Ass. All I can say is that those in the latter camp are missing out on a "super" movie. Shut up, criticism.

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