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Superhero Movie
A gag every 10 seconds, but a laugh every 10 minutes.
Superhero Movie
A Scene From "Superhero Movie."
OPENING WEEKEND: $32,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $87,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

October 18th, 2006: Fabtopolis’ greatest supervillain, a magician who goes by the pseudonym The Great Jim, has just kidnapped the city’s mayor (Leslie Nielson) and his wife (Laura Kightlinger). Four of the world’s most spectacular superheroes are called to the rescue: Beakman (Greg Giraldo) – the leader of the group, Squak (Eric Christian Olsen) – the wannabee, Cleara (Carla Gugino) – the see-through hero, and The Stoner (Ben Harr) – a loser who becomes a large stone monster when he gets high. The Great Jim is building a device that will allow him to sound like anybody in the world and this group of superheroes must stop him and save the mayor or the entire city will be destroyed.

What to Expect: Writer-director Craig Mazin, who worked on the screenplays of horror spoofs Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4, actually directed a similar project to Superhero! back in 2000. The Specials revolved around a group of almost superheroes, who were trying to find their place in a modern world. Robert Weiss, a long-time producer that seems to specialize in parody films, will be in charge of the project. The only person missing is David Zucker, who has collaborated with both men before and at one point was slated to direct Superhero! Of course, Zucker is one of the legendary filmmakers behind Airplane! and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad, but sadly he is also responsible for directing the last two Scary Movies.

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Although Zucker may no longer be involved with this project, Mazin has been part of the team long enough to pick up the parody genre where it last left off. All he has to do is adhere to what he has called “the bible of movie spoofs,” which Zucker reportedly developed after his Naked Gun movies. It’s a set of about 15 rules that one must follow when making a parody movie like Superhero! They include not referring to a film that’s too obscure, avoiding dated references, and not building any of the plot’s key points into a joke. Essentially, Superhero! could be as formulaic as movies get. And when Mazin finishes with this one, he and Zucker will work on Scary Movie 5, which Zucker will direct.

Superhero! obviously came about following the incredible success of the Scary Movies and thanks to the endless supply of material from the multitudes of comic book films that populate the theaters today. When Zucker established the limitless potential with the genre, he realized how easy it would be to poke fun at the comic book hero conventions. The plan started with the identification of about a dozen characteristics that are common to all the superhero movies, which most of the theatergoing public should recognize quite easily. For example, a superhero cannot ever reveal his true identity to his love interest. Keeping in line with their own set of spoof rules, the filmmakers don’t plan on having some bizarre, one-joke super power in the movie. The problem in having one would be that it would never be as funny when used repetitively throughout the picture.

The filmmakers have already promised that the Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and X-Men movies will definitely be spoofed. It appears that The Fantastic Four will be a major influence as well, although I would suggest throwing Catwoman into the mix. Then again, that movie bombed so it may be too obscure of a reference. Superhero! will not parody specific films like the Scary Movies, but rather the genre and all of its clichés. That’s actually a good thing. Rather than a rehash of familiar scenes from other movies, hopefully Superhero! will work as an original story and not just a grab-bag of jokes. In that sense it will be similar to the Naked Gun and Airplane films, which parodied the clichés found in cop dramas and airliner disaster flicks respectively. Could it possibly be as good?

For starters Leslie Nielsen will be in it, but even his buffoonery has gotten tiresome. The rest of the actors are pretty much irrelevant. I don’t even remember which actors appeared in which Scary Movie and who made a cameo in what scene. When the focus is on visual references every few frames, it’s difficult to notice who is actually up on the screen. In Superhero! everyone can be on autopilot anyway because they will be nothing more than mere props.

In Conclusion: Truthfully, Superhero! is likely to copy the formula of the last two Scary Movies simply because that’s what has led to $40 million plus opening weekends for both comedies. Although the movie is not expected to simply copycat big scenes from big films verbatim like the other franchise, nothing is written in stone after Zucker’s departure. The patented style of cramming every single minute with throwaway sight gags is completely worn out by now. All the good jokes will probably be given away in the television spots and theatrical trailers and by the time you view the actual flick, there’s nothing left to laugh about. Mazin should put all his effort into this comedy and forget about Scary Movie 5, because it would be nice to see something new for a change rather than the same tired, mediocre, PG-13 jokes. Still, audiences will crave for this just as they crave for more Scary Movies. It would take an overnight disappearance of comic book movies and a truly bad marketing campaign to turn them away. Personally, I prefer the 1950s Superman and 1960s Batman television shows and the Superfriends cartoons. Those were parodies enough.

Similar Titles: Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Jane Austen’s Mafia!
March 28th, 2008 (wide)
July 8th, 2008 (DVD)

Dimension Films

Craig Mazin

Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Leslie Nielsen, Kevin Hart, Marion Ross, Ryan Hansen, Jeffrey Tambor, Brent Spiner, Robert Hayes

Total: 181 vote(s).

Action & Adventure, Comedy

Click here to view site

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, drug references and language.

85 min





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