People are constantly surprised that no one has ever tried to be a superhero in real life, but you have to realize superheroes don't get paid.
That is why I say it's time for the government to admit we're screwed and blow the budget on funding vigilante crimefighters instead.
We might all starve, but the newspapers we wear for warmth will have some great headlines. It's a good thing we will all be laughing because that will be our new health insurance. What, you don't think street beatdowns of felons can be funny? Then you haven't seen 2010's Super.
After his wife Liv Tyler leaves him for a drug dealer, Rainn Wilson falls apart. Under the dual inspirations of divine vision and the enthusiasm of comic store employee Ellen Page, he costumes up and sets out to fight crime --but faces tougher sledding than the comics would ever make you think.
Wilson discovers, for instance, that criminals can punch too. When he responds by picking up a pipe wrench, he learns a) guns exist and b) the police tend to cluck their tongues at people who go on serial wrench-clubbing sprees. Oh yeah, and secret identities? If somebody knows you, a single layer of latex isn't going to fool them. Unless maybe you can work in a bathroom stall.
So Super may sound like Kick-Ass, but Kick-Ass was pretty much a movie about actually becoming a superhero. Super is more about becoming a lunatic who murders people after spending hours waiting behind a Dumpster for crime to happen. It's an indie character study of what level of crazy it takes to don the cape.
Nowhere is this more evident than Wilson's religious visions. One takes place in a freshly barfed-in toilet, yet is only the second-most offensive of the bunch. Super plays this so straight that Page's exuberant turn as Wilson's kid sidekick, though hilarious, is jarringly unrealistic by comparison.
But maybe it helps to be reminded you are watching something so nutty it would take a team of squirrels digging around the clock to properly bury it. With an ending that is as unexpected as the brutal, dark and strange 90 minutes that precede it, Super is an awful lot of fun.
* Contact Ed Robertson at email@example.com.