These days, if you had to bet whether Ellen Page would take a super hero script with moral clarity or one with relativist fog, which would it be? That’s what I thought. “Super” will be drenched in cynicism, and the laughs will collapse under the weight.

If you’ve read my blog you know how I feel about the movie Kick Ass. It generally did just that. And whether it was intentional or not, the movie came with clear doses of moral clarity. Evil was called evil, and the good guys were able to recognize and confront it. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite moments was when Dave Lizweski puts his life on the line for a complete stranger and a gang of thugs ask him if he’s crazy. He responds:

“Three a**holes laying into one guy while everybody else watches? And you wanna know what’s wrong with me? Yeah, I’d rather die.”

It was refreshing to see young characters on film who would lay down their life for the idea that there are universal truths that should guide us. The credo that all evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing was addressed in Kick Ass, and I can’t help but think that part of the reason why the finished product ended up so satisfying was because it was made without the standard Hollywood gatekeepers’ approval and financial resources.

With that said, I’d like to address another movie that will be heading to theaters sometime soon. Liberals Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, and Liv Tyler have teamed up with writer and director James Gunn (brother of Matt Gunn, who writes for Bill Maher), and the result is the movie Super.

Why do I get the feeling that the insipid rantings of Ellen Page will return for promotion of the movie Super, as they did with Inception? And why do I get the feeling that this “dark comedy” will really just be a bad deconstruction of the super hero genre that will leave the audience in a pool of moral relativist pap?  Answer:  because the odds of a gaggle of cynical liberals coming together and crafting something as uplifting as Iron Man aren’t very good.

Let’s look at the clips of Super that have already come out.

Boltie: We did it! We did it! We totally f**king beat evil!

Frank: You’re not supposed to kill him!

Boltie: And then he’d never key a car again, would he? A brand new f**king Jetta, Frank! Melissa loved that car!

Frank: Don’t say that.

Boltie: What?

Frank: Don’t…stop saying “f**k”.

*Man groans and writhes in pain as blood gushes from his head*

Frank: He really keyed your friend’s car?

Boltie: Yeah. I’m pretty sure it was him.

Besides the exchange above, another clip exists where Frank bludgeons a man for cutting in line at a movie theater, which is supposed to be hilarious.  Correction: the hand held camera used in the scene, which obviously makes it feel more realistic, elevates the comedy to “darkly hilarious.” Bravo!

Perhaps I’m just cocky in the wake of the Seth MacFarlane prediction that went even better than expected.  Or, perhaps I’ll be wrong and pleasantly surprised. However, something inside tells me that if I go to see Super I’ll witness a bunch of bitter characters using capes and masks as a vehicle with which to channel misplaced emotions. They’ll have a moral compass with zero magnetic north.  I’ll be cued to laugh at the “unexpected” times it spins and some mildly annoying character is punished disproportionately to the actual crime (as defined by the film’s mercurial “heroes”).  Along the way some really bad people will die unceremoniously and the obedient audience will wonder, “What’s it all mean? Is good and evil just an artificial construct? Is it all relative?” And then they’re supposed to slough it off because Ellen Page is “cute” and Rainn Wilson is “OMG, so funny!”

I’m hoping Kick Ass 2 doesn’t follow suit. It looks like the comic might veer off in that direction, but I have my fingers crossed it won’t (I stopped reading the first one when it became an exercise in getting as much violence into the panel as possible).  Regardless, keep this post in mind since Super will be heading to theaters soon.  If I’m wrong, I will own up and apologize. If I’m right…it’s going to be a fun weekend.

Somewhere, a producer thought, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the dude from The Office graphically lacerated someone on film? And wouldn’t it be cool if we could make it so weirdly disturbing that it was funny?  Dwight. Blood. Violence for violence’s sake.  Let’s go for it!”

8 comments

  1. A bold forecast, with plenty of evidence to consider (a writer for Maher? The probability that you’ll be right rockets up from there). Nice contrast with Hit Girl, the most morally pure action hero since Neo and Morpheus — actually, even more pure because it’s harder to draw distinctions between those of one’s own kind, and she GETS IT DONE.

  2. I saw the review for Kick Ass 2, #1 and I thought of you. When it comes out in paperback I’ll give it a read. The movie was actually better than the original comic, in my opinion. I think the film forced them to cut out the gratuitous violence. They seemed to keep only the stuff that moved the story forward, whereas in the comic they just went nuts and said, “How many creative ways can I kill or maim someone?” Can’t wait to see what they come up with.

    1. If you spent more time reading instead of resorting to ad hominem attacks you’d realize that there are plenty of philosophical cases made for universal truths that not only exist, but can be known by man.

      I’d get into a pissing match with you, but you’re obviously much more experienced. And I don’t like pee on on my leg.

  3. Good and evil ARE relative,you moron. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of human history should know this. Of course ot works better for everyone if. we hVe laws and morals so we dont kill people and go crazy,but it still stems from our own ideas and interpretations of life. Intelligent people admit this and try to live moral lives anyway.

    1. I find it funny that such a student of history isn’t familiar with the Declaration of Independence, or the ideas imbedded within “We hold these truths these truths to be self-evident…”

      You’re a tangled mess of contradictions and you don’t even realize it. Sad. Now go off and find some other Ellen Page fans who will stroke your ego, because that’s apparently what you like.

    2. “Good and evil ARE relative,you moron.”

      Typical morally relativistic troll who read Nietzsche one too many times and has nothing to offer but ad hominem attacks. Go figure.

      Interestingly enough, James Gunn is going to be directing “Guardians of the Galaxy.” I hope GOTG is better.

      And Gunn’s brother writes for Bill Maher? Yeesh. Not to mention, that idiot Ellen Page is going to be playing Shadowcat once more in “Days of Future Past. That won’t be enough to prevent me from seeing it, but hopefully she won’t open her mouth and make nasty anti-Palin and/or anti-conservative comments again (it’s ironic that she’s so vocal about American politics… and she’s from Canada.) while promoting DOFP.

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