Posted by: Dr P | May 11, 2008

Superhero Movie

In the grand tradition of Airplane, Airplane II, Naked Gun, Naked Gun 2 and a half, Naked Gun 33 and a third, Naked Gun 45 billion and many others comes Superhero Movie, a spoof of the recent spate of blockbuster … superhero movies. Well, duh.

My initial attraction to this film was the presence of Leslie Nielsen, the veteran “straight guy” who was resurrected as a comic genius by many of the films mentioned above. His deadpan delivery is legendary, and he once again delivers par excellence in this film.

But, as usual, let’s go off on the usual meandering path of nonsense before we cut to the chase. Sadly deprived of Big G by a “heavy workload”, I arrived at the cinema to discover a bustling car park. Having parked at the point geometrically furthest from the entrance in order to ensure a) a speedy getaway, b) the prospect of seeing the Bury remote controlled car club, and c) slightly less guilt at the prospect of consuming an enormous bag of minstrels, I got into the screen just in time for the adverts.

At this point, “Cone-gate” started. Despite there only actually being 8 people in Screen 4, no sooner had I sat down than a rather large and sweaty attendant wandered right down to the front and placed a large yellow cone in front of some seats. As I mused about just what kind of spillage might prompt coning as opposed to simply mopping it up, two more attendants arrived, each also bearing a single yellow cone. These were placed in a rather odd pattern around the other.

Now, you may know I like a good mystery. Did you know that the three major pyramids in Egypt are laid out precisely in the same alignment as the three stars which comprise Orion’s Belt? Well, lo and behold, so were these three cones. I was there with measuring devices and everything. It’s the first time my Swiss Army knife theodolite has come in handy, let me tell you. Clearly they were expecting Osiris to put in an appearance or summat.

Of course, it might actually be worth speculating about the workload at the cinema, such that it required three employees to each bear one cone as opposed to one bloke bringing in all three. Clearly they need more to do.

Onto the trailers, and my first sighting of yet another Chinese hero/warrior type film – The Forbidden Kingdom. If you could take me to movie heaven, this will be it – Jet Li, Jackie Chan, outrageous stunts, some funny lines, wonderful scenery, three million extras all prancing about in flowing robes … yes! I’m already foaming about the review potential.

Ok onto the flick, which basically uses the main storyline from the first Spiderman film. Our hero, “Rick Riker” lost his parents at a young age (no thanks to him, as we see in a hilarious flashback scene), lives with his aunt and uncle (Marion Ross of Happy Days fame, and the magnificent Leslie Nielsen), is a bit of a geek, fancies his foxy neighbour, takes photos (not of his neighbour – he’s missing a trick there), and ends up getting bitten by a genetically modified dragonfly … and thus his superpowers start to develop!

As with the Airplane/Naked Gun genre, many of the gags occur in the background; for example, when Rick stumbles in on his aunt and uncle after being bitten, he’s clearly very ill, and while they sit on the sofa discussing his problems, he’s falling against the walls, vomiting in the fishtank (brilliant moment) and generally doing funny stuff. It’s made even funnier by Nielsen following Rick to his room and telling him that clearly it’s all to do with the onset of puberty …

Uncle Albert: It’s all explained in this book. You’re confused, unaware of what’s going on, and once a month, you’ll bleed from your vagina.

[awkward pause]

Uncle Albert: This may be the wrong book.


Meanwhile, the creator of the genetics facility is dying, and to save himself he uses a device which changes his genes irreparably – in order to survive he needs to kill every day. He thus becomes “Hourglass”, a villain living on borrowed time – and who leaves hourglass shaped holes in walls!

There are so many great spoofs going on here, basically it’s a scattergun movie, they throw so many gags out there, some of which stick, and some of which stink. But if you have a daft sense of humour you will find this hilarious. If you don’t, it’ll suck!

The filmmakers are not afraid to poke fun at just about anything, witness “Stephen Hawking” makes a number of appearances, each time ending up in a bad situation and swearing profusely from his voice machine. There’s also a wonderful YouTube spoof of Tom Cruise.

My favourite bit of the film is the X-Men spoof, where the wheelchair bound Xavier invites Rick into his home. Every time we cut to a new scene, Xavier is using a different means of transportation, which include a motorised scooter, and one of those “city boy toy” walker things. The best one is where you hear a toilet flush and then Xavier comes into shot riding a motorised toilet. Appropriately enough I did nearly wet myself. I was howling with laughter.

The entire Xavier family are also wheelchair bound, including his wife and kids, which makes for another brilliant scene. Oh and yes, Kate, there’s a Wolverine bit as well 😉

All in all, it’s a pretty short movie, but had it gone much longer the jokes would have worn far too thin. If you’re after a film that will make you laugh somewhere along the line, this is the one. It might be one to go and see when you’re drunk, it’ll be even funnier then!

Plot – 4
Quality of movie – 2
Leslie Nielsen – 10
Background gags – 9
Poking fun at the disabled – 10
Cones – 11


Uncle Albert: With great power comes… ow!
Rick Riker: Great responsibility? Try to breathe!
Uncle Albert: I can’t. You’re kneeling on my balls!

Uncle Albert: Oh I love you, my wife.
Person at funeral: Sir, that isn’t your wife.

(camera pans out to reveal foxy blonde)
Uncle Albert: Who’s is it then?
Person at funeral: It’s his.
Uncle Albert: Give me five minutes.

Tom Cruise: [clapping with each syllable to emphasize his point] Old MacDonald had a farm and Bingo was his name – o


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