Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) is devastated when his wife Sarah(Liv Tyler) leaves him for Jacques (Kevin Bacon) a big-time crook and drug dealer. Sarah met Frank at the diner where they both worked when she was recovering from drug addiction and they fall in love in and get married. Frank is happy and in love but as time goes on Sarah goes back on drugs and he she meets Jacques. Frank is broken. He desperately tries to get Sarah back from Jacques by jumping onto Jacques’ car and begging but Jacques’ goons beat him up.
A combination of grief, vivid hallucinations and a very cheesy, preachy TV show about a Christian superhero called the Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion) convinces Frank that has been chosen for special mission by God. He goes to a comic book store to buy Holy Avenger comics and meets Libby (Ellen Page) who works there.
It is Libby who puts the idea in his head of a normal person putting on a costume and taking a stand against evil. Frank creates his Crimson Bolt costume but after his first failed attempt to fight crime he figures he needs a weapon. He chooses to arm himself with a wrench which is a pretty effective weapon against a number of unarmed petty crooks, perverts and queue jumpers This gets into the news and Libby figures out who he is.
Libby is an enormous comic book geek and is very excited about the Crimson Bolt and wants to join him fighting crime as his sidekick. She creates her own costume and calls herself Boltie. The level of violence increases dramatically. Libby is insanely brutal and almost kills one guy because she think he might have keyed her friend’s car. When she rescues Frank from two of Jacques’ goons she gloats over their injuries laughing manically at them.
Frank realises they need better weapons and some protection to take on Jacques and rescue Sarah so they go for a shopping montage to a gun store. After a bit of DIY bomb-making Frank lies down for a rest but Libby, dressed in her costume, jumps onto him and sexually assaults him like the insane little cosplay freak that she is. Afterwards he runs to the toilet to throw up and he sees Sarah’s face in the bowl of puke. This vision drives Frank to get going to Jacques place to rescue her. The film is fairly light and goofy up to this point despite all the terrible injuries they inflicted on people, but in the climactic battle the mood take a much darker more serious turn.
It would difficult not to see the similarities between this film and Kick Ass but comparisons are pointless because they are different films. Kick Ass is a normal nerdy boy trying to emulate the comic book fantasy world he loves and that film is a comic-book inspired action adventure while Crimson Bolt is a fragile man who cannot cope with his wife leaving him and so he retreats into a world of dangerous delusion, thinking he can be superhero and solve all his problems by hitting people with a wrench The film somehow manages to keep you on Frank’s side even though he doesn’t just attack violent criminals but anyone who makes him angry and he seems to suffering some untreated psychiatric disorder. The violence is much more realistic in Super with none of the martial arts wirework that got used in Kick Ass. (which is a great film in its own right).
- Movie Review No.51: Super (filmdump.wordpress.com)
- Super – review (guardian.co.uk)
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1512235/ IMDb page