March 21, 2008 Superhero Movie
Studio: Dimension Films Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, drug references and language.
Sword and sandal epics, horror films and date flicks have all be targeted by spoof-minded Hollywood types.
Now, heroes with "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men" get their turn on the hot seat.
See if this sounds familiar. A young man is bitten by a radioactive insect and soon gains its abilities. No, I'm not talking about everyone's favorite web-slinger. That's the plot of the latest parody film, "Superhero Movie."
Rick Riker (Drake Bell) is a pretty normal kid. Until one day on a field trip a radioactive dragonfly takes a chunk out of him.
Rick soon gains the insect's powers, but he doesn't know how to use them. Soon, a tragic event and a meeting with Professor X (Tracey Morgan) convinces Rick to become a hero.
After several cases of trial and error Rick gets the hang of his new abilities. But every hero needs a villain, and Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald) is the bad guy here. His alter ego is Hourglass, whose touch robs people of their life force, allowing him to live another day.
Parody films can be hit or miss. We've had some really good ones, like the "Scary Movie" series. Some, like "Epic Movie" and "Date Movie" fell short of expectations.
"Superhero Movie" is somewhere in the middle. It's helped along by Leslie Nielsen's Uncle Albert and Marion Ross' Aunt Lucille. They have the film's funniest scene.
Sara Paxton (Jill Johnson) also does a nice job as Rick's love interest. She's the Mary Jane Watson to his Peter Parker.
As in most spoofs, the jokes come fast and furious. Some fall flat. Some work pretty well. If you like these types of movies this one comes off okay. While "Spider-Man" is the main target, "Batman," "The X-Men" and "The Fantastic Four" are also used as source material.
Writer/director Craig Mazin hasn't made an epic piece of cinema, but at least he's given this movie a plot. That's something many of the previous spoofs can't say.
On my rating scale, Superhero Movie earns a Double.
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