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DVD Review

DVD cover

Superhero Movie


Starring: Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald and Kevin Hart
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 12
Available 13 October 2008

Meet Rick Riker, an unpopular student who lives with his uncle and aunt, and has a crush on his next door neighbour. While on a field trip, Rick is bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly. Over night Rick goes from being a nobody, to the hottest new superhero on the planet - Dragonfly. Meanwhile, local businessman Lou Landers is involved in a scientific accident and is transformed into a supervillain called The Hourglass. In order to live, Hourglass needs to suck the energy from one person every day. When The Hourglass puts into motion a plan to kill thousands of people, so that he can live for an extended period of time, mankind's only hope is Dragonfly... but is our new hero up to the task...?

Superhero Movie is a spoof that just doesn't work. The main reason is that the writers have taken the plot of Spider-Man and just spoofed key scenes. But... wait for it... the twist is that instead of a spider, our hero is bitten by a dragonfly - hilarious... my sides are just tearing themselves apart.

Now don't get me wrong, I like a good spoof movie as much as the next man. I loved Airplane!, Scary Movie and Galaxy Quest, but Superhero Movie is lazy movie making taken to the extreme. I'm actually surprised that the producers of Spider-Man haven't sued - this really is the worst kind of plagiarism (sorry, I mean homage/spoof) you'll witness in a movie.

The DVD cover is also misleading - most of the characters shown appear briefly on screen and what on earth has Dragonfly got wrapped around the Invisible Woman? The movie doesn't show him having the ability to stretch any part of his body - or maybe it did and I slept through that segment.

Other superhero movies that this film shoehorns in include X-Men, Batman and The Fantastic Four. The X-Men segment sees Riker visit a school for mutants; the Batman homage sees Riker remembering the death of his parents; and the Fantastic Four scene shows Riker meeting the Human Torch.

Most of the jokes you've either heard/seen a million times before, or you can work out where it's heading way before the punchline is delivered. But worse than that is the fact that the director treats his audience as though they are all really, really stupid. For example, there's a scene where Riker discovers he can climb up walls thanks to tiny hairs that protrude out of his skin. So, he climbs up a wall... stops and then breakdances. Now it's obvious to even the most stupid person on the planet that, like the '60s Batman TV series, the camera is tilted and the actor is not climbing up a wall, but is on the floor pretending to climb. But, just in case we still don't get it (the final scene shows Riker apparently suspended by his back on the wall - while in reality he's just laying on the floor) the director adds a cat which appears to be walking up the wall.

Extras include Alternate Ending (5 min totally different, but equally dull, ending to the movie); Deleted Scenes (7 min, 30 sec); Meet the Cast (10 min, 45 sec behind the scenes featurette); The Art of Spoofing (10 min, 08 sec look at spoofing as an art form - no this is serious... the word irony was invented for situations just like this); and Trailer (2 min, 17 sec).

Cerebral this isn't... Funny...? If you've got a lower than average IQ, or hair hasn't started to appear on your body yet, then you'll probably laugh yourself into a coma. Everyone else should avoid this like the plague.


Darren Rea

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