Superhero Movie (2008)
Plot: In this parody of Spider-man and other superhero movies, while on a class field trip, Rick (Drake Bell) is bitten by a radioactive dragonfly, giving him super powers. Rick is the only one who can stop ‘the Hourglass,’ a crazed scientist (Christopher McDonald) who can suck people’s life force.
At least this movie doesn’t beat around the bush. It tells you right off the bat what to expect. In a knock off of Peter Parker running for the bus, Rick Riker does the same, but crashes into the door as it stops. And thus begins a record number of physical comedy gags. That’s all this is: One joke after another of people running into walls, doors, and tripping all over the scenery. And when it’s not someone getting hurt, we get the Naked Gun type sight gags that we’ve seen a hundred times before. Now to be fair, some of these gags do hit. Stuff like the idrink, and a clever take-off of the Microsoft Office Paper Clip helper thing were pretty clever, but otherwise, the director is desperately trying to make us laugh with lame Tom Cruise and Rosie O’Donnell references. Probably the most infuriating element to this film is that not only do they pull out pee and poop jokes at will, but it’s those jokes that go on the longest. There’s a pee scene in here that is just endless, and not at all funny. Cut me a break. It pains me to admit that I did get a substantial chuckle every 15 minutes. The acting saves this movie from being completely terrible. Leslie Nielson, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher McDonald, these are all veteran guys who aren’t exactly given Shakespeare, but they make it work. Sara Paxton plays the teenage love interest to Rick, and she actually does a good job of mimicking Kirsten Dunst from Spider-man. Pamela Anderson was also accurate casting for Invisible Girl, because let’s face it…Is there really that much of a difference in acting ability between Pamela Anderson and Jessica Alba, the original Invisible Girl. There’s a ‘douchebag of the year’ song that was kind of funny, and a clever jab at Women’s Basketball. I think I chuckled enough not to call this movie bad, but it’s nothing anybody needs to see.
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Barely Passable Entertainment)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Tracy Morgan as Professor Xavier
-If anything, he wins this because it’s just so weird. It’s a small role, but Morgan is actually pretty damn funny here. Despite a couple lines, it’s a toned down Tracy Morgan performance. It might be because his character was involved with some of the best jokes, but whatever the case, Morgan was fun as Xavier.
Worst Performance: Robert Joy as Dr. Hawking
-Maybe it’s not the actor’s fault, but this was a disgrace. The writer basically said, ‘hey, what if Dr. Hawking talked about lesbians and getting high?’ Wouldn’t that be funny?’ No, not really.
Best Line: “Hold him down boys. I’m on my way.” –Snail
-This line isn’t even said, it’s actually a subtitle. Here’s the set-up. Rick accidentally squirts some sort of substance on him that attracts animals in a sexual manner. Uh-oh, I wonder what’s going to happen? Yes, a bunch of animals run towards Rick and hump him. So the actual set-up is pretty shitty. But all of a sudden they cut to this snail slowly moving towards Rick, and then this line flashes across the screen. That’s pretty damn funny, despite the horrible set-up.
Worst Line: “Can I get a what what? Holla.” –Dr. Hawking
-Yup. A run of the mill tired cliché, but it’s in the Dr. Hawking computer voice. Doesn’t that make the cliché funny again? No.
-There really weren’t any, but the best I could come up with was between Professor Xavier’s wife played by Regina Hall and Invisible Girl. But it’s more of an argument than an actual fight.
-Dr. Hawking flies off a building in the background, exactly identical to O.J. Simpson’s character Nordberg falling from the original Naked Gun. This pisses me off because this movie was produced by David Zucker. Come on…how does he let that happen!
-The best sequence of the movie is Rick visiting Xavier’s school for the gifted. It never comes back into the plot later on, but this is where your best jokes take place. The sign at the entrance reads ‘Xavier’s School for the Non-Asian gifted.’ The only funny physical comedy gag takes place in this scene.
Xavier: We have children who can walk through walls.
-A student walks through a wall
Xavier: We have children who think they can walk through walls.
-A student tries to run into the wall but crashes into it.
-Rick and Jill try and have a romantic moment, but Rick’s Aunt Lucille is sleeping on the couch farting. That’s the scene. She keeps farting. Maybe if it was just a couple times, I could forgive it, but this scene is endless. The fart sound effect button on the switch board probably broke as it was used so many times. There is no clever set-up. She just farts.
-This is the moment that probably saved the film from getting below a ‘5.’ Xavier and Rick walk into Barry Bonds’ room. Barry is chugging a large can of steroid pills and looks angry beyond belief. Barry suddenly roars loudly and uses the Cyclops’ optic blast. This had me in stitches.
Bad Ass Moment:
-Another funny moment at the Xavier mansion is when Mrs. Xavier brings out all of Xavier’s kids (who are all bald and in wheel cheers). One of them is an infant who is literally just a doll. He raises his arms, using his psychic powers. He blows Xavier out of his chair as Xavier yells, ‘Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!’