Before the screening started I was talking to another reviewer about the fact that I have very little time at the moment, my life seems to be the busiest it’s ever been and I was questioning my motivation for volunteering to go and watch a film I had very little hope for. I’m a huge fan of pretty much all comic book movies, whether I’ve read the original comic books or not, be it Dolph Lundgren’s The Punisher or even the first Fantastic Four movie and I’d seen press images from Superhero Movie, including Pamela Anderson in blue spandex, so I figured maybe, just maybe, there was some hope for the film…
On leaving the screening the same person asked me if I thought it was precious time well spent, my response was:
“I’m just trying to work out the best way of writing the review as quickly as possible, without wasting too much of my own time.”
Indeed, why bother spending precious hours trying to compose an original, funny and entertaining review when the film itself contains none of those features. By happy coincidence while scribbling out the odd word, in the dark of the screening room on my notepad, the following two words were written over each other which perfectly surmise the entire film ‘soulless’ and ‘shit’ (for reference the ‘shit’ referred to one of the various types of toilet humour used throughout).
Sadly I can’t just leave it at that, I mean if I didn’t justify my opinion I might be responsible for uniformed people accidentally stumbling into the cinema and I couldn’t have that on my conscience now could I? The most frightening fact though, more frightening than any comic book super villain, is that it doesn’t actually matter what I think, as after the critical panning of the various spoof Movies, people still keep paying money to see more and for the life of me I can’t figure out why.
The biggest problem with Superhero Movie is that, like Scary Movie, it takes 80% of its dialogue and story from another movie (with Scary Movie it was Scream and in Superhero Movie it’s Spider-Man) and merely fills in the remainder with a variety of infantile jokes (vomit/boobs/wee etc.) and injects zero originality into the script, even the score is within a hair’s breadth of having Danny Elfman sue them. It seems like such a lazy process as to be almost offensive in its regard for the audience,. For example I saw Iron Man recently, the Movie franchise dictates that were I to spoof it I could have Tony Stark really drunk throughout, then he could get put in his robot suit only to find he needs the toilet, he’d wet himself and his robot suit with fill with his own urine, then he’d trip over and get a mouthful of his own wee – wouldn’t that be funny – do you see what I did to make Iron Man a funny spoof? Do you? Believe it or not that only took seconds to come up with too.
Now I’m all for toilet humour, but the most baffling factor of the spoofing is that they chose to do it to films which already have comic elements in them. Scream was already poking fun at horror movie conventions and putting humour into the slasher genre and Spider-Man is directed by a man with a love for The Three Stooges, who loves nothing more than putting slapstick comedy in those films at any given opportunity. Why then would anyone want to see re-cycled and badly done elements from far superior films, which themselves are already funny and entertaining? If the Movie makers had any conviction or strength to be original then they should perhaps have a go at spoofing at humourless films, I dare them to make Nazi Movie and see how funny that turns out to be (I’m well aware of The Producers, but I was thinking they might rehash the script from Schindler’s List for their inspiration).
Sure the odd joke made me smile and occasionally laugh a little (Robert Joy’s Dr. Stephen Hawking for one, but even that was funnier in the M.C. Hawking gangsta rap from years ago) but it’s at this point I feel obliged to say that even AIDS has been funnier than any gag in Superhero Movie, bringing to my defence Team America and the musical number from the beginning, a good example of how bad taste can be done well in the right hands. Now if you think I’m being too harsh I should say at this point that Superhero Movie tries its hand at ‘comedy necrophilia’, which not only falls flat but also made me want to weep for involving Leslie Neilson at the same time. Still you might be thinking that I have a personal bias towards seeing a movie genre I love being mocked, which would be a good point with which to try and skewer my rage, but I would simply point you in the direction of Robot Chicken which I adore and lampoons pretty much everything I love (if you’ve ever seen the Optimus Prime prostate sketch you’ll know what I mean).
Galaxy Quest also sprang to mind during the screening as a film that manages to successfully spoof the science fiction genre and all the various fans of it, while actually managing to appeal to those same people. There is a scene at the end of Superhero Movie where the main hero and villain crash through into a hero fan convention containing a variety of people dressed just like them, a situation ripe for easy comedy, yet still it failed to be funny, mostly because unlike Galaxy Quest it has no heart and no affection for the genre it wants to send up and the lack of heart is the last thing I’d finally attack the film for. Comedy for comedy’s sake has to be incredibly sharp and well written, something Superhero Movie fails to be utterly, which means nothing else in the film has any purpose – you don’t care about the characters or the story, nothing is exciting or involving and even things which always raise a laugh, such as people running into walls or being hit in the face still left me cold.
And Pamela Anderson only appeared for a minute or two.
On a final note the one part of the movie I thought was great was Miles Fisher’s uncanny Tom Cruise impersonation, which featured briefly in the film and at greater length in the end credits. It was sheer genius, but thankfully for the world at large was also used as a promotional trailer which means you can watch it here.
… And stay away from this movie at all costs to discourage any more Movies in the future to encourage the creators to at least try and make an effort next time.Check out our interview with Leslie Nielson