Whilst Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have moved onto the likes of Date Movie, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans, another of the Scary Movie alumni, Craig Mazin, has taken over directorial duties from David Zucker with Superhero Movie. All of these films are related in some way but the split is significant – insofar as the Zucker-monitored films have been slightly better than the execrable Friedberg and Seltzer ones.
There are several things to like about Superhero Movie. Firstly, it sticks to its genre. There are no weird cross genre-references like in Scary Movie 4 (Brokeback Mountain anyone?) or pointless references to other comedies as in Date Movie (why re-enact Wedding Crashers or Meet the Parents, for crying out loud?). This is commendable, but it’s also a little disappointing to note that Superhero movie simply doesn’t lampoon enough films. It sticks mainly to Spider-Man, which is fine, but ignores such obvious targets like Ghost Rider or Superman Returns, and barely touches Batman Begins. And what about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Surely that was crying out for parody…
Like all films with traces of Zucker, there’s a: plenty of pratfalls, and b: Leslie Nielsen. The former are always bound to raise a giggle, but seeing Nielsen delivering gross out punch lines simply seems wrong. Christopher McDonald, Keith David and Jeffrey Tambor join a relatively unknown cast, though none really have a chance to impress. Another problem with these films post-Scary Movie is that they don’t have a brilliantly funny lead like Anna Faris. As the main character, she really saved those flicks from the worst jokes. In Superhero Movie, our leads Drake Bell and Sara Paxton simply play it straight.
The film claims to be 85 minutes, but isn’t being entirely honest. The end credits are broken up with DELETED SCENES, which is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like they were determined to break the 80 minute mark, so bypassed DVD sales completely.
Overall, this film is mildly amusing and not exactly terrible. It really could have been more intelligent and deconstructed the comic book tradition a little more, but I guess no one expects them to set the bar high, since all of these damn movies seem to make a fortune at the box office. The only other thing worth mentioning is Miles Fisher taking off the Tom Cruise Church of Scientology recruitment video which circulated on YouTube – his performance is uncanny.Rating: