Monday, 7 April 2014

April Fools: Superhero Movie (2008)

Written and directed by Craig Mazin, it's worth noting right away that Superhero Movie is one of the few spoofs with "Movie" in the title that is actually relatively painless and enjoyable. It's nowhere near the daffy greatness of Not Another Teen Movie, but it's miles better than the likes of Date Movie.

Drake Bell stars as Rick Riker, a young man who develops superpowers after he's bitten by a radioactive dragonfly. From start to finish, this is a riff on Spider-Man, with plenty of nods to other superhero hits of the past few years. And that's about all you need to know. Christopher McDonald is great as Lou Landers, the villain of the piece, Sara Paxton is very sweet as Jill Johnson, and Leslie Nielsen and Marion Ross are Uncle Albert and Aunt Lucille, respectively.

Okay, this is still an easy movie to hate if you automatically hate these kinds of movies. It's not often aiming for the cleverest comedy, but it is always aiming for laughs (unlike the horrible approach of just copying scenes with little to no changes, an unfunny approach used by some people, who shall remain nameless).

The great cast help to make up for the weaker, groan-inducing, gags. Bell and Paxton are a sweet central pair, McDonald is a great baddie (as anyone who has seen him in Happy Gilmore or Dirty Work can attest), Nielsen and Ross are good fun, and the rest of the cast includes Brent Spiner, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Robert Joy (equally amusing and tasteless as Stephen Hawking), Regina Hall, Robert Hays, Nicole Sullivan, Jeffrey Tambor, Craig Bierko and Simon Rex, among others. A bunch of big names does not a good movie make, but this lot certainly help to keep everything lively and entertaining enough.

There are still a few too many toilet humour gags, but there are a lot of jokes that target specific superheroes or superhero movie moments, and they work surprisingly well. They may be easy gags, but they work. And if enough laughs are created, then that means that a comedy movie has done its job. Even if it's far from the best out there.


So I put together a book, yes I did.

The UK version can be bought here -

And American folks can buy it here -

As much as I love the rest of the world, I can't keep up with all of the different links in different territories, but trust me when I say that it should be there on your local Amazon.

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