After his wife (Liv Tyler) leaves him, Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) decides to become the Crimson Bolt and fight crime until he can get her back. He is joined by Libby (Ellen Page), a comic book store clerk who has always wanted to be a superhero herself. Together they set out to stop the villainous drug dealer Jacques (Kevin Bacon) and his evil ways.
I love seeing a superhero movie that’s both fully original and extremely deep. In fact, this movie does what a lot of other superhero movies don’t do which is to make you fully understand the hero and why he is what he is. The thing is, this guy is messed up. He has some serious issues going on in his head and doesn’t quite understand how to handle those who have wronged him and others. But he does his best and hopes for the best, and despite the very harsh and clumsy way he goes about fighting crime, you do really start to root for him. He’s just trying to make a difference and hopefully get his wife back at the same time.
Then you have Boltie, , Libby, who is his all-too-faithful sidekick. She’s just in it for the fun of taking down bad guys, but she’s even more psychotic than Frank. She gets lost in what she’s doing and loves hurting people more than she does saving people. She’s a good balance to the Crimson Bolt, showing that he’s really not all bad when he could be a lot worse. The two are from completely opposite sides of the crazy scale, where Frank really does only want vengeance while Libby doesn’t seem to really want anything other than carnage.
This is a very dark movie with a lot of very dark themes. Frank’s entire life has been a miserable line of sadness and the way he finally snaps is demented but incredibly thought-provoking. The way things play out, it’s kind of hard not to see both sides of the issues. What makes this work the most though is that the film ends without telling you what is right and what is wrong, but simply suggesting a possible answer. It goes to some very dark areas, and takes a drastically dark turn near the end, but I never felt a sense of depression despite the situations. It keeps things very upbeat and comical while still addressing this very deep topics. I think what I like the most about it is that it could have gone very cynical and bitterly satirical, but instead it chose to be more optimistic and hopeful.
I’m not going to call Super a “feel good” movie because it certainly doesn’t meet that criteria, but it is a very enjoyable and thought provoking film that has far more heart than a majority of other superhero movies that have been made to date. Definitely check this one out.