After Hours

A new kind of superhero

Edmond Woychowsky summarizes James Gunn's upcoming film Super, which stars Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, and Nathan Fillion. Wilson as The Crimson Bolt is a sort of DIY superhero vigilante.

I used to think there were two types of superheroes: those with superpowers (e.g., Superman, Spider-Man, The Flash) and the brave few without superpowers who rely on a strong moral character and superior training and equipment (e.g., Batman, Iron Man, Elektra). (A recent Discovery News video explains why people love both kinds of superheroes.)

However, it seems I was wrong: James Gunn's upcoming movie Super introduces a third type of superhero — one who has a really loose grip on reality. Based on the trailer for Super, here is my best guess as to how the story unfolds.

Super is the story of Frank, a dull man, leading a dull life whose wife leaves him for a local bad boy. When Frank is at his lowest, he believes that he is inspired by God to fight evil. After a research expedition to a local comic book shop, he is ready. With a costume and a pipe wench, he transforms into The Crimson Bolt, ready to fight crime in the most violent way possible. Can you say armed vigilante?

The Crimson Bolt gets a sidekick, Boltie, the young woman who helped him in the comic book shop. Important superhero safety tips: If you're going to fight crime in a semi-psychotic manner, don't attract attention to yourself. Also, make sure that your sidekick isn't a step or two beyond semi-psychotic. Nevertheless, The Crimson Bolt and Boltie must be doing something right, as the trailer progresses the violence seems to as well. Who doesn't like a good explosion in the name of good? Also, there's something appealing about a DIY superhero. All of these factors, plus the added bonus that this is a low-budget independent movie makes me a happy camper. My biggest fear is that the story might have been watered down in an effort to get a PG rating. My other major concern is that I won't be able to find a theater in my area showing Super. Sigh... I might have to wait for it come out on DVD.

Super stars Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, and Nathan Fillion, and is scheduled to be released in theaters April 1, 2011.

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