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Review: Super (**)

Written and directed by James Gunn, Super casts Rainn Wilson as Frank; a happy and kind fellow up until his wife leaves him for a scummy drug dealer played by Kevin Bacon. This devastating loss for Frank puts his personality at a standstill. However, time passes and the only way he believes he can save his wife is to transform himself into a superhero. The name? The Crimson Bolt. Frank soon realizes that balancing fighting crime and maintaining a steady normal life is not as easy it may appear. Though, with a little help from a cute teenager, played by the always-welcomed Ellen Page, his initial goal of claiming back his wife seems eminent.

Sadly, in the midst of Super is a lost and often underwritten story. Gunn, who wrote the screenplay for Dawn of the Dead back in 2004, tries to infuse the over-the-top action sequences that Kick Ass! contained, with the underlining political and eternal messages that Nolan’s 'Dark Knight' projected so well. Unlike those two rather successful pictures (especially the latter), Super results in a muddled, and inconsistent picture. 


Still, despite the films flaws Gunn’s newest effort does embody some shining attributes. In particular Rainn Wilson who finally gets to show off some of his acting range here. I’m still not completely sold that Wilson can be the lead of a successful picture, but Super will put no dent on his resume. Ellen Page’s persona is flamboyant in the picture. Her character feels rather forced, and overly campy (and that’s saying something considering the overall nature of the film). As for Kevin Bacon, Liv Tyler, and Andre Royo, well their characters are used more for plot points than intricate pieces of the story.

When it’s all said and done Super bogs down to a chaotic and overly sentimental 96-minute picture. The performers are entertaining here, and some dramatic scenes (and boy are there plenty) actually connect. But for the most part, Super is too uneven and underdeveloped to be considered anything other than a moderately entertaining, and periodically engrossing endeavor.

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