If I were to write a 10-second movie review of Superhero Movie it would go something like this:
Unfunny. Unimaginative. Sloppily written, acted and directed. It marks the beginning of Armageddon.
Unfortunately, I don’t publish reviews like that, so I’ll have to force myself to expand on why my above three fragmented sentences and one whole sentence review rings true.
I’ll start with the unfunny, unimaginative and sloppy portions first, simply because they’re the easiest. It becomes evident rather quickly that writer/director Craig Mazin doesn’t know what makes people laugh. His idea of funny is changing how the crippled Professor Xavier (Tracy Morgan) motors around (a motorized toilet is funny, right?), having Stephen Hawking (Robert Joy) repeatedly act outlandish (talking sex and drugs to kids is all the rage), and orchestrating a fart scene by our hero’s Aunt Lucille (Marion Ross) which runs for two minutes too many. Realizing that the gags are rather weak he tries to cover it all up in two ways:
- He makes a play on the youth by referencing the hell out of today’s hot fads – MySpace, iPods, instant messaging and FaceBook, among others. The trick is to show kids what they see everyday so they can relate and hope that they’ll lose focus on the fact that they’ve just been fed a pile of horseshit.
- For both generations (young and old), he enlists the help from as many P-list (P for pathetic) has-been and up-and-coming celebrity type people as he could for bit parts to add a few of those “oh yeah I recognize that guy” moments. You may even recognize some of their names: Christopher McDonald (Lou Landers), Leslie Nielsen (Uncle Albert), Ryan Hansen (Lance Landers), Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Whitby), Regina Hall (Mrs. Xavier), Keith David (Police chief), Brent Spiner (Dr. Strom), Craig Bierko (Wolverine), Robert Hays (Blaine Riker), Simon Rex (The Human Torch), Dan Castellaneta (Carlson), Nicole Sullivan (Julia Riker) and Charlene Tilton (Jill’s mom). Hell he even managed to dig Pamela Anderson out of the hole she’s been living comfortably in to play Invisible Girl.
It’s really sad too, because there is a landfill amount of material to lampoon in the superhero genre. Instead Superhero Movie rests its collective laurels on making fun of Spider-Man. That’s right they didn’t even bother to include the sequels! Sure, there are a few scenes in which Batman Begins and the X-Men are quickly tied in and made fun of, but overall it is about a Peter Parker-esque boy, Rick Riker (Drake Bell), who becomes the Dragonfly after being bitten by a mutated . . . drumroll please . . . dragonfly. He buffoons his way to his Mary Jane Watson-esque love interest, Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton) and to a sleep inducing, farcical showdown against his nemesis, Hourglass (Christopher McDonald).
To say that there is anything good about Superhero Movie would only compound the travesty that this is. It is actually worse than the previous parody fuck-ups like Meet the Spartans, The Comebacks and dare I say, Epic Movie. I’ll just end with this observation: When all creativity and originality has been sucked dry (which after watching this I am convinced has happened), we as a people need to pack it in and let the next species evolve and rule. The end of days is here. I’ll meet you at the corner pub – we can kiss our asses goodbye together.