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Movie Review: Superhero Movie

By Matthew Huntley

May 30, 2008

That outfit...is not sexy. Wait, are you trying to tell me you're gay?

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If the purpose of making a spoof is to lampoon genres based on their prolificacy, then Superhero Movie would be (and should be) completely appropriate. It seems like every month another superhero movie comes along hoping to become another studio cash cow. In fact, studios are now practically defined by which hero franchise they own.

But spoofs shouldn't just be a reaction to numbers. They should be a reaction to ineptitude and redundancy. And if that was the case, then the spoof genre would be long overdue for a spoof of its own. It's gotten to the point where spoofs have become nothing but pale, embarrassing imitations...of comedy that is. It's one thing to affectionately mock a popular genre for justifiable reasons; it's another to simply re-enact them stupidly.

As with the reprehensible Date Movie, Superhero Movie contains little to no laughs. Why? Because it doesn't have a clear reason for existing. Sure, some superhero movies are bad (Catwoman, Ghost Rider), but generally, the public isn't tired of them yet and still respects what they see. Most superhero movies are good and competently made. They also already come with their own sense of humor and self-mockery. What's the point of making fun of a genre that sometimes already makes fun of itself?




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The joke is really on the filmmakers behind this lamebrain mess. They haven't got a clue what it means to be funny or an original idea. Instead of coming up with a new ideas to satirizes superheroes, they reuse the plots of Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman Begins and plug in flatulence jokes, which they take to a nauseating degree. There's a scene where Marion Ross (yes, the mom from Happy Days) sleeps on the couch and we hear about a dozen or so fart sound effects. Is this supposed to pass as humor? The sound effects don't even sound real!

Even the "original" jokes (that is, the jokes that don't have anything to do with lampooning superheroes) fall flat. Leslie Nielsen, the unofficial king of the spoof genre, makes his usual appearance, but you could have put any actor in his place and it wouldn't have made a difference. Not even a cameo by Robert Hayes (Airplane!) is amusing.

Bottom line: this movie is cheap, amateurish and sloppily thrown together, and not in a way that's meant to be ironic compared to the big-budget, meticulous superhero blockbusters. These filmmakers didn't seem to care about their production values at all, let alone their humor. As a result, we don't (and shouldn't) care about their movie.


     


 
 

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