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SUPERHERO MOVIE

SYNOPSIS:
After being bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly, high school loser Rick Riker (Drake Bell) develops superhuman abilities. Rick decides to use his new powers for good and becomes a costumed crime fighter known as The Dragonfly. However, standing in the way of his destiny is the villainous Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald). After an experiment gone wrong, Lou develops the power to steal a person's life force and in a dastardly quest for immortality becomes the supervillain, The Hourglass. With unimaginable strength, unbelievable speed and uncomfortable tights, the Dragonfly must stop the sands of The Hourglass to save the world.

Review by Robert Newton:
Dear Mr. H. & Mr. B. Weinstein, Executive Producers:
It's baffling that with a name like producer David Zucker's on your little movie that you couldn't seem to make it funny. This is the same David Zucker who, with brother Jerry and longtime cohort Jim Abrahams, created the template for the modern spoof with classics like Airplane! and The Naked Gun, right? He's not a clone with his talent gene selectively spliced out? You're not ransoming a beloved Zucker family member, adored pet or prized PEZ collection, are you? He's not strapped to a bed in some remote mountain cabin, hobbled by some loopy, cock-a-doody fat girl who maniacally spouts, ad infinitum, lines like "And don't call me Shirley" and "Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue," is he? Because really, your lazy and mechanical mash-up of the likes of the Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and X-Men movies - as if they weren't self-parodies, anyway - plays like a MAD Magazine spoof that was written on the toilet (which would actually make it a Cracked Magazine spoof). Man, where do we start?

You can't put a veteran like Leslie Nielsen in the movie and expect an audience to instantly forget that the script is all pee, poop and puke puns. This master bait-and-switch move reminds me of the whole Caligula disaster when the gents behind Penthouse Magazine shot the backbone of the film - Gore Vidal's screenplay - starring luminaries like Sir Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud and Helen Mirren, and then later added gratuitous sex scenes featuring Guccione's gals, making it the largest scale porn film ever made.

It's really disturbing to see you taking advantage of Nielsen's name and our expectations of the grandfatherly go-to guy by putting him in your cumbersome clubhouse cut-up. And reducing the likes of darling Happy Days mom Marion Ross to the butt of a fart gag grosser than the one in Blazing Saddles, making her say "little penis" and involving her in a sketch about necrophilia? I'd say shame on you, but I reserve that for your crass mockery of one of the greatest minds of our time - Dr. Stephen Hawking - by turning the quadriplegic theoretical physicist into an ugly running joke and sight gag. But hey, at least there were no rampantly anti-gay threads in your scattershot Pigfield Follies. At least until you sign the Wayans Brothers for a sequel.

Damn, you left Disney for this?
Sincerely,
Robert Newton

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

SUPERHERO MOVIE (M)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Leslie Nielsen, Kevin Hart, Marion Ross, Ryan Hansen, Keith David

PRODUCER: Craig Mazin, Robert K. Weiss, David Zucker

DIRECTOR: Craig Mazin

SCRIPT: Craig Mazin

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Thomas E. Ackerman

EDITOR: Craig Herring

MUSIC: James L. Venable

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bob Ziembicki

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 10, 2008







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