17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
SUPERHERO MOVIE bombed at the box office, but as a lifelong fan of the genre and movies like AIRPLANE, TOP SECRET, and NAKED GUN, I felt almost compelled to watch it. I doubt there will ever be another breakthrough spoof movie due to the fact that now there are so many of them. During the eighties and nineties, spoof movies came out every other year or so, now they come out every other month (Scary, Date, Epic, Disaster, etc). SUPERHERO MOVIE is not a great movie within the spoof genre, but it provides many good laughs and returns to the roots of what made the movies like Airplane and Naked Gun so great.
The DVD has a feature called "Anatomy of a Spoof" that among other things, gives director Craig Mazin's (a Zucker protégé and fan) philosophy of spoof movies. First, the actors need to play it straight, and second, the movie needs to have characters you care about and create an actual story within the genre you are trying to spoof. It this movie, all the actors play it straight. Drake Bell is Rick Ryker, the Peter Parker clone who gets bit by a Dragonfly and gets superpowers. Sara Paxton plays the love interest. Christopher McDonald is the evil Hourglass. Leslie Neilsen is the wise uncle. The plot follows the basic structure of Spiderman, and throws in Fantastic Four and X-men spoofs as well. The movie avoids trying to create comedy by recreating scenes from famous super hero movies. Director and writer Mazin really tries to make a story the viewers will care about, and many of the jokes are found in the dialogue.
Mazin knew what he was doing. He crafted an entertaining spoof full of witty dialogue. A few things brought the movie down. First, the glut of spoof movies took away any chance for this film to be original. Second, it seemed a limited budget took away from some of the special effects that could have been utilized. Third, Mazin just isn't as talented as the Zucker brothers. Still, this movie had some good stuff, including my favorite, Steven Hawking. This is a must see for fans of the genre. It's not perfect, but SUPERHERO MOVIE is definitely trying to follow in the footsteps of AIRPLANE, and that's more than can be said for all the Date and Epic movie spoofs.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2009
This flick which is a average entry into the spoof genre, one that has direct roots to the classic movie "Airplane". In many ways they are all similiar from "Scary movie" to 'Hot shots" they spoof a current trend or movie. In this one they mainly spoof 'spiderman"; but in spite of the extended gay and fart jokes it's still entertaining. The main villian 'hourglass" is actually a good supervillian that could fit well into any comic book or film based on a comic books. In fact most movies are storyboarded just like a comic book before shooting. So anyone who looks down at comics should forget about movies as well. This isn't a stand out performer in it's genre but it's what you expect and that's some laughs and lots of silliness. Since 'airplane' there has been a alot of these over the top spoofs and they all have their moments and a basic similiar structure based on a outlandish gags. The blu ray print is as good as it gets and this is the only way to watch this movie if possible.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2008
Is there any good way to start a review for yet another mindless spoof? With the release of "Meet the Spartans" back in January, it did seem as if the parody genre was on the rise again. Since we now have "Superhero Movie" added to the mix, I'm really not sure anymore; it isn't as funny as "Meet the Spartans," but it's certainly a lot better than the droning jokiness of films like "Scary Movie 3," "Scary Movie 4," "Date Movie," and "Epic Movie." Most of these films were nothing more than comedic vignettes, having no real plot other than a back-to-back series of gags. This new film actually does make an attempt at a plot ... and by "plot," I mean that it takes all the best elements from the first "Spider-Man" and forces them to be goofy, at times too much so. "Superhero Movie" is by no means a comedic masterpiece--the sense of humor is juvenile, the jokes are blatantly obvious, and the dialogue is just plain dopey.
But since "Meet the Spartans" was all that and more, how can I be kinder to it than to "Superhero Movie"? Partly, it's because the former parodies "300," a movie with violence so excessive and action so stylized that it was practically begging to be made fun of. But it mainly has to do with the fact that "Meet the Spartans" was unashamedly aware of itself, letting the audience know that it was, in fact, watching a spoof of a great film. I found that level of self-awareness funny. "Superhero Movie" is certainly aware of itself, but not at a satisfying level; the opening credits show close-ups of the hero's suit while a light passes over it; we eventually see that the light emanates from a flashlight the hero is holding. Could nothing more come from this gag than a flashlight? Could no one think of something even funnier than that?
"Superhero Movie" tells the story of a high school kid named Rick Riker (Drake Bell), a story he claims "is not for the faint of heart." While on a field trip to the local laboratory, Riker is bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly; he soon realizes that he's developing super powers, not the least of which is his ability to break-dance vertically on the wall of a building. He also has lightening fast reflexes, as seen when he catches a nail fired from a nail gun. Disguised in a green and black suit and going by the name Dragonfly, Riker uses his abilities to fight crime all over the city, which doesn't seem to be a problem for his aunt and uncle (Marion Ross and Leslie Nielsen). By the way, he lives with them because, nine years ago, his parents were horribly murdered after leaving a movie theater.
His archenemy is Lou Landers, a.k.a. Hourglass (Christopher McDonald), a terminally ill scientist who, through a technological accident, has the ability to suck the life energy out of people. If he can find a specific number of victims, he will be able to live forever, despite his illness. Riker is supposed to save the day, but he lacks confidence since he's a dragonfly that can't actually fly. Whatever. Maybe the girl he's secretly in love with--Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton)--can inspire him towards greatness. At the very least, she can inspire him to attempt a naughty version of the upside down kiss from "Spider-Man."
If this doesn't seem all that funny, that's probably because the plots for parody films are anything but; it's all about the jokes and how many can be crammed into a single film. Indeed, "Superhero Movie" practically bursts at the seams with the mass of its humor. Does all of it work? No, but there are a few select moments I laughed at: there's a moment when Leslie Nielsen's character reads to Riker from a puberty book, only to realize it covers changes in the female body; Riker recalls what his uncle says later in the film, when it seems least appropriate. There are some moments when a parody of Professor Stephen Hawking (Robert Joy) cusses in his distinct computer-generated voice. Some may find this offensive, but keep in mind that the real Stephen Hawking once provided his voice to an episode of "The Simpsons."
But for every funny moment, there are two or three that aren't all that funny. Example: Riker accidentally sprays himself with animal pheromones and attracts everything from dogs to rabbits to skunks (and you don't want to know what happens when a snail shows up). There's a cameo appearance from Pamela Anderson as Invisible Girl; she's been having an affair with the handicapped and bald Professor Xavier (Tracy Morgan), and that puts him at odds with his equally handicapped and bald wife (Regina Hall). There's also a moment when Riker's aunt is asleep on the couch, and she does nothing but pass gas in front of Riker and Jill as they try to share a tender moment with one another. You may not believe this, but that does get old after a while.
While this movie is nowhere near as bad as it could have been, it still isn't good enough to recommend, so those of you upset by my positive review of "Meet the Spartans" can rest easy. "Superhero Movie" is amusing but hardly hilarious, which--believe it or not--is more than I can say for many of our more recent parody films. I'm sure teenagers will love this film, which I guess is fine since there certainly are worse movies. Some people will get a kick out of Brent "Data" Spiner, who plays a scientist that screams like a woman at a certain point. Yes, "Superhero Movie" is juvenile, but it's also harmless, so in the end, it's really no better and no worse than you expect it to be.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2008
Having `basically' gotten a free copy of this, I decided to go ahead and check it out. I had seriously doubted I would laugh at all in this movie since these movies have been going from good to really bad as quick as a snowball down a snowy hill. I like Scary Movie 1 and 2. But 3 and 4 were bad. Meet the Spartans was bad. I didn't even watch Epic Movie or Date Movie. But Superhero Movie... well... it just might surprise you.
The movie basically spoofs Spidey with tidbits of other movies like Batman and X-Men thrown in. Don't let the box art fool you guys. Everyone on the front of the box is in the movie for maybe 5 - 30 seconds with the exception of the Dragonfly. Wolverine's whole part was him shaving his legs with his claws while smoking a cigar... lame. Prof X was in the movie for a few scenes, but it really was just thrown in to get laughs in my opinion. Pam Anderson was in there for maybe a good 30 seconds. Ah well. The movie revolves around Rick Riker (or you could say Peter Parker) who becomes bitten by a radioactive dragonfly. And instead of Green Goblin being his arch-nemesis we have Hourglass played really well by Christopher Donald (I always like that guy for some reason). And, in my opinion, Hourglass is a lot cooler, movie wise at least, than the Green Goblin. Hourglass sucks the life force out of people so he can stay alive. The bodies on screen actually look like all the juices and matter were sucked from their insides until there just a prune of what they once were. So basically if you've seen Spidey then you know what's going on here. Good vs. Evil.
The thing about this movie though is they throw in some little twists to the story. Some to make you laugh (or try to) and some just to make the story a little different. The story itself isn't really that bad. If it wasn't for the goofiness and the forced humor, and of course the carbon copy script of Spider Man, then this movie might have been able to stand on its own.
Now for the funny parts. I don't see how the writers can go from one extreme to the other like they do and expect laughs. Some scenes seem like they were written for 8 year olds to laugh at while some scenes would have you dive bombing your child with `ear muffs'. In my opinion, I have a pretty good range of humor. I laugh at Kevin Smith stuff, Will Ferrell stuff, and then even stuff that's in Wes Anderson movies such as Royal Tenabaums and Rushmore. I'm everywhere. So saying that, I did laugh more than I expected in this movie. Leslie Nielson had 2 of the best parts in my opinion that involve a nail gun and then a punch. It was back to back and I just didn't expect it and it made me laugh pretty good. But, like most of the recent stuff these writers and directors have done, most of the comedy is too forced and just incredibly dumb. For instance, they have Johnny Storm freak out cause he's on fire. Seriously? He says, "Watch what I can do" then says "FLAME ON!" Then looks at his body and says, "OH MY GOD I'M ON FIRE! HELP ME!" and stops and drops and probably rolls. I'm not sure since I was rolling my eyes. That's the kind of stuff that took this movie from being decent to `eh'.
In the end I would say, if there is nothing else to rent, give this a try. Or if you're just a big fan of the Superhero movies, like I am, then just say to heck with it and rent it. It almost feels like a big "WHAT IF?" comic. Almost.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rick (Drake Bell) is your baisc high school nerd who was bitten by a genetically enchanced dragonfly and has the abilities and powers of a dragonfly. He becomes an avenging superhero nicknamed Dragonfly and must protects the good citizens of Empire City from criminals, Rick also wants to win the heart of beautiful girl Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton) and must do battle against the evil Hourglass or Lou Landers (Christopher Mcdonald).
Co-starring Leslie Nielsen, Pamela Anderson, Brent Spiner, Jeffery Tambor, Keith David and Tracy Morgan, this is an outrageous and nicely done parody of superhero movies from "Spider-Man 1 & 2", "Superman", "Batman Begins", "Fantastic Four" and "X-Men". This movie is produced by the great parody maker David Zucker who made "Naked Gun" and this movie works better then the Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer duds as it successfully uses some decent laughs, some nifty spoofs on celebrities like Stephen Hawking, and not too much overdosing on Pop culture references like the Friedberg and Seltzer movies. Sara Paxton is simply gorgeous in this movie as the hero's love interest and Tracy Morgan is hilarious as Professor Xevier, it's worth a look for those that were fed up with Friedberg and Seltzer's trash.
This DVD contains never before seen footage that was cut out of the theatrical release and has some good extras like audio commentary, alternate ending, deleted scenes, and two featurettes with trailer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Honestly, this movie is just okay, and I was tempted to give it 4 stars, but then came down to my senses. I wanted to give it 4 stars because compared to Meet the Spartans, Date Movie and Epic Movie, SUPERHERO MOVIE is comedy GENIUS. A shining beacon in the spoof movie doodoo fest we've been enduring recently.
Yet, in its mere 85 minutes, it seemed to come and go. There were moments of hilarity and there were moments where it slowed down to crawl. Although, there were dozens of things that SUPERHERO MOVIE did that made it rein supreme over some of the retarded comedies hollywood has been spewing out lately.
First of all, there was a story to follow. YEAH! Hard to believe that is something that I had to say, but it's true. The story may have been lame and one dimensional, but at least there was one. Secondly, it had set up to its jokes. They didn't just put a Britney Spears look-alike somewhere and do something stupid to her. There was a method to the madness.
Ultimately, there were moments in SUPERHERO MOVIE that had me busting out laughing. Yet, compared to classics like AIRPLANE, NAKED GUN and KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, SUPERHERO is the kind of doodoo we should be complaining about, instead of movies that should never have even found funding like the previously mentioned excrement.
At least SUPERHERO shows future moviemakers and movie funders, what should be green lit and what she be flushed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2009
4 of 5 stars for the comedy parody Superhero Movie. I love a good parody movie! Any movie with Leslie Nielsen is one that I will enjoy! The main theme is a geeky highschool guy is bitten by a radioactive dragonfly and gains superhero powers. Sound like a famous comic book? Yep. We have the beautiful girlfriend and a bad guy. Lots of bad puns, silly jokes, sight gags and odd-ball humor. My one piece of advise is to carefully watch the background of each scene; often the funny stuff is shown behind the foreground action.
Easy on the brain, funny and entertaining. Worth the watching.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
For the week of Halloween 2008, I decided that there will be no horror movie marathon. This week, I will watch the various comedy films that typically feature on the front of the DVD "from the guys who brought you SCARY MOVIE and the NAKED GUN".
I pretty much know what I'm getting into with these films and know you have to have an open mind because although many scenes will have its funny moments, you can expect your share of really idiotic moments as well.
I know people who can just laugh and know what to expect with these films but some who have never seen these type of films and just feel the wasted their time watching it. So, with that being said, enjoyment of this film depends on your take of these type of movies.
"SUPERHERO MOVIE" is a film that parodies the first "Spider-Man" film, "Fantastic Four", "X-Men" and "Batman".
The film revolves around Rick Riker, a nerdy high school teenager who loves his classmate but bullied quite a bit in his school. Things go from bad at worse at a school trip when he accidentally spills a chemical which attracts animals to him and somehow he ends up being bit by a radioactive dragonfly.
Riker develops special powers and next thing you know, the Dragonfly is born.
Marion Ross and Leslie Nielsen play the aunt and uncle of Rick Riker. In true Leslie Nielsen fashion, if you watched the "Naked Gun" films, you know what to expect for his role. Marion Ross of "Happy Days" fame was quite interesting as the aunt who has a major flatulence problem and just can't stop farting.
Tracy Morgan plays a Professor X type of role, trying to help Riker learn his new powers and show him the school of teens who have powers. Pamela Anderson plays the role of Invisible Woman who has been caught messing around with Professor X by Mrs. Professor X.
One of the highlight scenes is when Riker and the girl of his dreams, Jill Johnson are about to share a kiss but his aunt Lucille (Marion Ross) sleeping right next to them leashes continuous farts that just sound so horrible. Fart jokes can be funny and the manage to include a hilarious gassy scenes in which Jill who really wants to kiss Riker, uses her tampons to put up her nose to avoid smelling the fart. Fart jokes are gross but when done well, you can't hep but laugh.
Of course, probably the coldest jokes are the ones on physicist Stephen Hawking. The gags on his character featured getting his head accidentally stuck in a beehive and not able to get out of it because of his disability. And of course, using his vocoder device to simulate Hawking screaming profanities. For a film to really make fun of his disability to get some cheap laughs is just very cold.
There are so many gags in this film with those type of gags, some quite funny and some that are just idiotic but I found this film more to the funny side fortunately. But with jokes such as the Stephen Hawking (which there are numerous scenes with this character), I can see many finding it tasteless and some to find it so funny knowing it's so wrong.
AUDIO & VIDEO:
Truthfully, I wasn't paying too much attention towards the quality of the film and as for the audio, the film is strictly dialogue. Not much need for special audio effects.
The extended version features the alternate ending, deleted scenes, two featurettes and a theatrical trailer plus a commentary. The regular version only features the alternate ending (which was so dumb, I'm glad they didn't use it), deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.
There are three versions of this film on DVD in the US. The regular version which is only 74 minutes long and has only the alternate ending, deleted scenes and theatrical trailer, while the extended version which is 82 minutes long and has the additional commentary track and featurettes. The third version is a Blockbuster exclusive which features additional deleted scenes.
So, far of the movies within this genre and created by the same creators of "SCARY MOVIE" and "NAKED GUN", of the more recent films, "SUPERHERO MOVIE" was probably the funniest compared to the others. Again, this is comparing to the other related films by the same creators.
There is a lot of funny jokes throughout the film but there are also a good number of idiotic jokes as well.
I enjoyed the superhero film parodies on this film and although there are a few well-known talent who made cameos on this film, I'm just glad many of their segments were quite short. In fact, I'm glad that the film was quite short.
In the end, I definitely didn't find myself disliking it. I suppose it's because I enjoyed the superhero parodies on the film and I haven't seen a film go so far to do a parody based on superhero films in this magnitude.
All in all, a fun film if you come watching with an open mind.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2008
The summer of 2008 will go down in history as the summer of the superhero movie. With the releases (and successes) of IRON MAN, THE INCEDIBLE HULK and DARK KNICHT, superhero movies have taken hold. What began with X-MEN and SPIDERMAN is now a film genre that looks like it has holding power. So what better time than now to do a spoof?
SUPERHERO MOVIE takes on that challenge and does a fantastic job. Thankfully the group behind EPIC MOVIE and MEET THE SPARTANS had nothing to do with this. Those movies were great example of how not to make a spoof. This one is just the opposite. And why not? David Zucker of AIRPLANE and THE NAKED GUN was a producer here and director Craig Mazen helped write the last two SCARY MOVIE films as well as direct a previous superhero comedy THE SPECIALS.
So what's this one about? Young Rick Riker (Drake Bell) is your typical high school nerd. On a field trip to a special lab, he's bitten by an enhanced dragonfly. The next day, he gains powers from the bite like being able to cling to walls, fast reflexes and invulnerability. Okay you get the picture, its Spiderman all over.
This includes his from the sidelines adoration of girl next door Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton), evil millionaire turned super villain Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald) and elderly Aunt and Uncle Lucille and Albert Adams (Marion Ross and Leslie Nielsen). With all of these characters put in play, the fun begins.
How Rick deals with his new powers is less a question than how his friends and family deal with it. Sure the jokes about his hands being stuck to things now with their insect like gripping ability (everything from a drinking fountain to the bust of his teacher) pop up periodically but at least its not an overused joke that never stops. Instead jokes about his powers and family ties twist and turn in various directions.
Along the way Rick meets Prof. Xavier (Tracy Morgan) whose Home For Gifted Students (Non-Asian) is a locale for heroes to learn and train. Try and forget the site of Wolverine using his admantium claws to shave his legs. But their good intentions aren't Rick's way so he heads home to learn to be a hero on his own.
Meanwhile, Lou Landers is dying with a short time left to live. What better time than now to try out the machine he was working on to find cures for all ills and prolong life. The only drawback is that to do so, he must drain the life from someone else daily. The only way to increase this to immortality is to suck the life force from over 47,000 people and that requires a rare element that he steals in the guise of Hourglass, super villain!
Will Rick adapt in time to save the day? Will Hourglass drain everyone on screen? And will Leslie Nielsen ever stop making these kinds of movies? Let's hope not!
The jokes are more sight oriented than spoken so it's difficult to offer an example here without blowing the joke. And from past experience with AIRPLANE, to ruin a visual joke from one of these is a sin. Instead, take the time to rent this one and give it a watch. You'll find yourself laughing from start to finish.
And with this movie coming out prior to the latest summer trend, one can only imagine that a sequel would be in the works. This one jumped the gun, coming out prior to the summer blast. But it fits right in with all of the films hitting screens now.
After writing this initial review, I went back and watched this movie once more. And I can honestly say that it was as funny the second time around as it was the first. It was then that I noticed why and where it did so many things right compared to the recent spoofs mentioned at the beginning of this piece.
First off, while the time period of this movie takes place in the present, it doesn't rely non-stop on current trends (other than superhero movies) or celebrities. One of the worst parts of MEET THE SPARTANS was the repetitious use of the trifecta of slutty celebs (Britney, Lindsay and Paris) to the point where the movie as much about them as it was the movie being spoofed.
Secondly, I noticed the trademark comedy moments that had been missing for years but were first put into place with the Zucker Brothers and Abrahms first films like AIRPLANE or THE NAKED GUN. These were what seemed to be tossed off lines that were out of place but when you saw or rather heard them again the humor or inappropriateness that led to humor was there.
Lastly, the movie seemed to have a genuine love for the subject that it was spoofing. You can tell that these people loved the Spiderman movies. MEET THE SPARTANS and EPIC MOVIE just seemed like people making fun of movies they either didn't get or didn't enjoy. Otherwise why choose to ridicule things that had nothing to do with the subject at hand or insert pop culture references that were always out of place?
Yes, in watching this movie again I laughed out loud several times, waited for upcoming joke that were STILL funny the second time I saw them and in general had a good time. And while there were a few "racy" moments (that is for pre-teens they might be considered such), the film relied in true comedy rather than those moments. And most of those were comments made by Leslie Neilsen who seems to relish them these days. But...it was all in good fun. And good fun is what you get with this movie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This isn't "Date Movie" or "Epic Movie" or "Meet the Spartans." Let's get that clear up front. Of course, in all honesty, this isn't "Airplane" or "Naked Gun" either. But it's much better than the former set of movies, and that's what counts.
I won't re-hash the plot--you've seen it in your favorite superhero movies anyways. Drake Bell, as Rick Riker (turned Dragonfly), shows promise; he's not quite to the Leslie Nielsen level, but then no one really is, so we'll forgive him for that. As for Nielsen...he's given a few clunker lines, but it's Leslie Nielsen; even the worst line ever written is enjoyable coming from him. His presence alone helps elevate this movie somewhat.
As does the rest of the cast. There is a surprisingly large amount of talent in this film. Christopher McDonald, as the villain Hourglass, is always a welcome presence in this type of movie. Kevin Hart, as Riker's friend, is also a nice addition. Brent Spiner milks the most from his small performance; and Keith David, only in a couple small scenes, delivers one of the funniest lines of the movie: "What Empire City needs is more police officers--and a Hooter's." Other cameos (Robert Hays, Simon Rex, and yes, even Pam Anderson) help flesh out the film, adding some extra humor that might otherwise be lacking.
However, the excellent cast is also a bit of a let-down, considering the movie isn't all THAT great. There are a few great scenes (the beginning scene in the lab, with the pheromones especially) and some great one-liners...but they just aren't up to par. It's hard to take a spoof seriously these days; we can thank a long line of horrible or near-horrible parodies for that. The parody has become a money-maker, and not the art form it once was. "Superhero Movie," despite its high points, displays that prominantly.
Still...it's good for a few chuckles, even a couple hearty laughs. I wish they'd have given it a different name, to seperate it from its predecessors (as well as give it a different cover that didn't blatantly rip-off the "Scary Movie" franchise). But the movie itself is decent. I suppose that's the best we can expect these days, in the parody world ("Scary Movie 3" being the only exception I can think of). We can still hope, though, that one day someone will come along who will truly appreciate the art of the parody. Mel Brooks is still making movies, isn't he? Somebody should give him a call.