The Best Not-So-Super Superhero Movies
Our comic book heroes fill our heads with visions of high-flying, ass-whooping invincibility.
Who hasn’t pictured themselves as a caped saviour or martial arts ninja? Doer of good, destroyer of bad. Besides, superheroes always get the hot chick – once they’ve been pushed to their limits taking down the worst criminals that is.
Superheroes have powers we’d love to possess. Infinite strength, speed, stretchy limbs and of course there’s flying. Flying is a big one, everyone has dreamt of flying at some point in their life.
Ironically, the people who keep comic book stores in business, the people who fill comic cons, looks-wise, are the opposite of what we expect from a superhero –ripped, six-packed and in a tight costume.
But how many weightlifting machos do you suspect read comics? Of course there have got to be a few, but in theory, our comic book heroes would probably never want to pick up a copy of their own story.
It just doesn’t make sense. What makes a lot more sense is the comic-geek teen letting grand ideas get to his or her head to the point they decide to have their own go at the whole superhero thing. A couple of newer movies have creatively imagined that very idea. Here are three movies about everyday, ordinary heroes that I highly recommend.
Kick-Ass, Mathew Vaughn
This was the first movie in which a normal kid, Dave Lizewski, tries his less-than-capable hands at being a superhero. This is not a story where super powers fall into a normal guy’s lap, Kick-Ass is about an average teenage boy who loves to read comics with his friends and wonders why no one has ever tried emulating their favourite hero. Dave decides he wants to become a real-life hero, orders a wetsuit and that’s where his adventure begins. But the plot really unfolds when he meets other masked crime fighters who want to team up. This movie will have you making the final stitches to your own superhero costume before the credits role.
Super, James Gunn
His superhero guise is called Crimson Bolt, but there’s nothing particular super, or fast about our hero. Unlike Kick-Ass, Frank Darbo isn’t interested in a life of stopping bad guys. That is until one bad guy, a drug dealer named Jacques steals Frank’s ex-addict wife. Devastated, Frank makes himself a costume and decides to go after Jacques by fighting his gang of no-goodniks. When he’s joined by a crazed teenage girl who wants to be his ass-kicking sidekick their adventures put them in real danger; the kind a silly costume won’t save them from. Super is the ultimate not-so-super superhero movie.
Deadpool, Tim Miller
Deadpool is truly hardcore. It’s so action-packed that the occasional self reflection is the only break we get from the ass whooping and gore. Our hero, Deadpool, is out for some serious revenge after a rogue experiment has deformed him unrecognisably, but given him accelerated healing power. A constant stream of humour balances out the violence, keeping the action fun and dynamic throughout. Deadpool is the only Marvel comic in the group, a rare anti-hero in a world of mutants and impossible super powers.
Of course you don’t need a cape to kick ass. Martial arts classes are a perfectly healthy outlet for all your work-a-day anxieties. So even if you spend your days in front of a computer and your nights nose deep in a comic, for three hours a week you’ll be a kung fu, no-special-superpowers, crime-stopping ninja.