Synopsis: Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantasic Four will never be the same after this outrageously funny spoof of your favorite comic book movies! Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) stars as a nerdy high school student bitten by a genetically-altered dragonfly. He stumbles hilariously through the process of becoming a crime-fighter and as his new powers grow, so do the laughs. Sara Paxton (Aquamarine) and Christopher McDonald (Spy Kids 2) costar as the clueless damsel in distress and the comically intense super villain, along with Pamela Anderson and Leslie Nielsen. Going from superzero to superhero has never been this much fun!
Superhero Movie 5.5
I’ve steered clear of all the entries in the ‘(insert genre) Movie” franchise. After ‘Scary Movie’, which was only scary in the sense that it was frighteningly bad and only funny in the way that watching open-mic at a comedy cabaret can be (i.e. train wrecks can be somewhat funny!), I decided that they weren’t worth the effort.
But I got this DVD for dirt cheap this summer, while I was neck deep in my superhero movie phase. I decided it might be worth giving it a try.
It was almost worth it.
It started off nicely. I soon realized that they were mirroring Sam Raimi’s ‘Spiderman’ film, which was a nice start. After all, the issue with some of these parody films is that they don’t bother with stories – they have a bunch of unrelated gags and skits tossed together in a blender.
So a story was an anchor worth having, in my mind. The problem here, though, is that they stuck too much to the original concept. Aside from ‘Spiderman’, there was a reference to ‘Batman’ and a small bit with the ‘X-men’. Oh, and some incidental ‘Fantastic Four’. That’s pretty much it. Frankly, if I had wanted a parody of ‘Spiderman’, I’d have asked for a ‘Spiderham’ movie.
What I wanted was a parody of superhero films. I thought a movie called ‘Superhero Movie’ might do exactly that.
I was wrong.
Well, maybe someone else was pleased with the rehashed Spiderman references. Let’s assume this. But further problems arose in the acting, which was abysmal (comedy is one of the hardest genres to pull off, acting-wise, and these amateurs proved it!), and in the gags themselves.
What made the original spoof films like ‘Airplane!’ and ‘The Naked Gun’ work is that they had so many gags you pretty much had to watch the films more than once to get everything; there were sight gags in the background, audio gags on the soundtrack, double-entendres (which you don’t always get the first time), plus what was happening on-screen. This smorgasborg is what made them successful.
In ‘Superhero Movie’, we get a few jokes here and there, but they’re all foreground and not always ingenious in the first place. So we get a half-drama, half-comedy, really – which is not at all what I would have liked to see.
Anyway, it started alright and I got a few good laughs out of it, but by the end I just wasn’t laughing anymore – I was mostly snickering or only smiling. (or nothing at all, by the very end!). So I have to conclude that the film just didn’t work for me. Hence the poor grade.
I mean, it’s not a super film to start with, but it doesn’t even compensate by being funny – a real weak point in a purported comedy.