Superhero Movie (2008) Directed by Craig Mazin. With Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Leslie Nielsen, Kevin Hart, Marion Ross, Brent Spiner, Pamela Anderson.
One of the many fallouts from a successful franchise or sub-genre, is the herd of obligatory spoofs that get optioned for release almost in conjunction with the films they are spoofing. With superheroes about as popular as they’ll ever be, you really don’t have to dig very far to unearth gems like the imaginatively titled ‘Superhero Movie’. Unfortunately, as is often the case with this tired ‘comedy’ sub-genre, this is one you’d be best advised to dump straight back into the hole you found it.
The set-up, if anyone’s reading past that first paragraph, is very much based on Sam Raimi’s first ‘Spider-Man’ film. Already six years old at the time of this films release, it seems an odd decision to opt to parody an already parodied to death film. But that’s what they do. What’s further more disappointing is the films reliance on the use of four letter swear words to get cheap under-age giggles. The film was released in the UK as a 12, but it’s doubtful many kids around that age will find much in the way of even light amusement at most of the telegraphed gags that litter up the lions share of the runtime. Indeed, the demographic that are going to get any laugh value out of this banal exercise in tedium are most likely the 5-8 year old’s that still find strategically placed profanity nervously naughty.
As always, there’s a plethora of cameos by people that used to famous for other stuff like Brent Spiner, Pamela Anderson and most sadly Leslie Nielsen and Robert Hays who at least provide a little founding father nostalgia for this kind of film. Unfortunately for them, as good as ‘Airplane’ was, this only serves to highlight just how far the apple has fallen from the tree.
So, if your’e looking for an inspired, multi layered spoof that stands as tall today as it ever did, don’t see this. Instead, go back in time to 1980 and watch Airplane, the film that kick started a perpetual plethora of parodies that have dumbed and numbed throughout the years resulting in this joyless chore of an experience. 1.5/5