Superhero Movie – Extended Edition
Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Tracy Morgan
Leslie Nielsen, Brent Spiner, Christopher McDonald
Written / Directed Craig Mazin
Dimension Films / Weinstein Company 2008

Superhero Movie is the best spoof since Airplane! This DVD is certainly funnier and tighter than the Scary Movie franchise and other like recent and not so recent movie imitations.

The main reason Superhero Movie works is it focuses on the first Spiderman movie. This means the spoof does not get diluted with references to all other recent superhero movies like Fantastic Four, Daredevil, etc. There are jokes about Invisible Girl, Storm, and so on but these are incidental to the main story and not the too long outshoots that thinned out the laughs in the Scary Movies.

High school nerd Rick Riker goes on a school trip to the local pharmaceutical company, gets bitten by a genetically modified dragonfly, discovers he has superpowers, does not intervene during a bank robbery so his uncle gets killed, gets pictures of the city’s new hero for the local paper, etc etc.

Superhero Movie works because it often surprises. When Rick Riker (Drake Bell) sees hair growing on his palm the obvious joke is not even hinted at, a sign writer director Craig Mazin decided to go beyond the easy lowbrow laughs.

This is followed by a few very funny running gags like the various modes of transportation mentor Tracy Morgan uses as well as some great one-offs like the Stephen Hawkins, Invisible Girl (Pamela Anderson), or J. Jonah Jameson gags. My favorite is Marion Ross (the Dragonfly’s aunt) stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey.

Dragonfly’s nemesis is local pharmaceutical bigwig Lou Landers aka Hourglass who only has 24 hours to live unless he gets the life energy of one person each day or 47272 people at once to be immortal -this according to the Microsoft Death Machine Maker program.

This, by the way, was the only unbelievable gag in Superhero Movie: a Microsoft program that installs without any problem and works well the first time around? Come on!

The final showdown between Hourglass and Dragonfly is absolutely hilarious, superb, brilliant, and original. The alternate ending is pretty good too.

Special Features on the Superhero Movie DVD include a very banal commentary track by Craig Mazin, David Zucker, and Robert K. Weiss; Alternate Ending; Deleted Scenes; the extremely ho-hum Meet the Cast; The Art of Spoofing; and, believe it or not, the Theatrical Trailer!!!


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