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Movie Opinion: Super (2010) - Be careful what you ask for.

Having listened to a lot of commentary about Man of Steel and the fact that it didn't really give much realistic attention to the supposedly millions of civilian casualties in the climactic fight scenes I was prompted to think about a 2010 superhero flick called Super starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page.

More about that in a moment - including a very gruesome image at the bottom of this post. Scroll slowly if you don't wish to see it.

One thing that I found odd about criticisms of Man of Steel was that the same commentators that criticize the film for its lack of realism with casualties, in the same breath, criticized the film for being too realistic with scenes reminiscent of 911. People being covered in rubble dust and fleeing plumes of dust and debris. Make up your mind people!

Back to 2010's Super which is best described as a black comedy, along the lines of Kick Ass (also released in 2010) where the film's main character, Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson),  is inspired to become a Superhero to fight crime and, more importantly, save his wife from local drug dealer, Jacques (Kevin Bacon).

Unlike Kick Ass, Super is 'R' Rated (age 18+) due to some fairly extreme graphic violence. Frank Darbo's super hero persona, The Crimson Bolt and his sidekick, Boltie, definitely don't draw the line at no killing.

Super is one of my favorite superhero films because Frank is probably the most unlikely super hero you're ever likely to come across. He means well but his use of excessive force to fight crime isn't always appropriate. Such as when he bashes a couple with a pipe wrench simply for cutting ahead in a line for the cinema. It's a little bit of a defining moment for the Crimson Bolt.

The graphic violence means the film is not for everyone. Even when I watch it I come to the end of the movie having gone through more of a harrowing experience rather than a sense of having been entertained. However it's thought provoking with it's realism of what it might be like to be a self made superhero with very few resources.

Which brings me back to Man of Steel. If you want to see real people getting hurt in a superhero movie then Super is one way to sample what that experience might be like. Is that something you really want to go through when you see a superhero film? Civilians actually dying, losing limbs etc.in graphic detail.

Regardless of what your expectations are of who Superman is, one thing we can all agree on is, he can't save everyone, even if he tries. It's one of the core internal conflicts of the character.

As much as Man of Steel tried to be more realistic, for me, it was already dark and realistic enough as it was without needing to remind me that, in all likelihood, quite a few civilians died or were severely injured (not to mention all the Kryptonians that did die). I'm quite happy to have that kind of thing implied in my escapist entertainment. It doesn't need to be spelled out for me.

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