Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Craig Mazin|
|Produced by||David Zucker
Robert K. Weiss
|Written by||Craig Mazin|
with Pamela Anderson
and Leslie Nielsen
|Music by||James L. Venable
|Cinematography||Thomas E. Ackerman|
|Release date(s)||March 28, 2008|
|Running time||75 minutes (Theatrical version)
82 minutes (Extended version)
Superhero Movie is a 2008 spoof film written and directed by Craig Mazin and produced by David Zucker and Robert K. Weiss. Superhero Movie starred Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, and Leslie Nielsen. It was originally titled Superhero!.
Superhero Movie is a spoof of the superhero film genre, mainly the first Spider-Man, as well as other modern-day Marvel Comics film adaptations. The film follows in the footsteps of the Scary Movie series of comedies, with which the film's poster shares a resemblance. It was also inspired by, and contains homages to, some of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker's earlier spoof films such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun.
Production began on September 17, 2007, in New York. It was released on March 28, 2008 in the United States, and the UK release was June 6, 2008, and received 9 million dollars on its opening weekend and was number three in the box office. The film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for crude and sexual content, comic violence, drug references, and language. In Australia, it was rated M for moderate sexual references and infreqent coarse language.
Rick Riker (Drake Bell) is an unpopular student at Empire High with his only friend Trey (Kevin Hart), living with his Uncle Albert (Leslie Nielsen) and Aunt Lucielle (Marion Ross). His crush Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton), who hardly notices him, is dating Rick's bully Lance Landers (Ryan Hansen). Rick and Trey are then shown to be on a school trip to an animal research lab. In the lab Rick meets Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald) who coughs up blood because he is terminally ill. Dr. Strom(Brent Spiner), the head researcher at the lab, then shows his seven mutated dragonflies, though there are only six there because one has escaped which then bites Rick, and causes his neck to swell.
The scene then goes to Rick's house where his Aunt Lucille and Uncle Albert are talking on the couch when Rick comes in. He is very sick, and throws up in a fish tank because of his illness and goes up to his room. Albert and Lucille believe Rick is acting strange, so Albert proceeds to talk to Rick about puberty. Rick then passes out from the bite.
He wakes up five days later, with a strange video sent to him from a man wanting to speak to him, later adding Rick as a friend on Facebook. Meanwhile, Lou Landers gets into a scientific accident, transforming into the Hourglass who feeds on human life. At a science fair, with a comically rude and mean-spirited Stephen Hawking who gets physically hurt throughout the film, Rick gets into mishaps, such as becoming stuck to water fountains. He then realizes he has superpowers such as the ability to walk on walls, has incredible strength, but cannot fly. He tests his strength in an alleyway, then decides to test how he can walk up walls. He climbs up and begins to break dance, then has a lie-down on the wall and a cat walks up the wall beside him. He then sees an old woman about to be hit by a truck in the road, and just as she is about to get hit he pushes her out of the way and the truck collides with him, stopping it. After his heroic feat he is congratulated by passers-by, but as they are congratulating him he looks to his right and sees he has accidentally pushed the woman into a woodchipper and the dog she was holding the lead of up is slowly getting pulled up into the machine as well.
Trey offers to become his sidekick, but Rick resigns. His Uncle and he have a brief argument, which reminds Rick when he was younger and rich with his parents who die in a spoof of Batman Begins. His father urges him to invest weakly in, Google, but invest heavily in Enron.
Rick later watches the girl of his dreams, Jill, who leaves with Lance in his car. Rick wants a car, and he sets out to get money from the bank. He is denied a loan though, with no credit or payment. A bank robbery takes place thereafter, ending with Uncle Albert getting shot.
Rick is met by Xavier (Tracy Morgan) at his school for mutants ala X-Men. Rick is told to make a costume by Mrs. Xavier , which he does (and later improves), and he becomes known as the Dragonfly. He quickly becomes a sensation, until his fight with the Hourglass, who ends up cutting him with little hourglass blades. The Hourglass then escapes.
Jill is then seen walking in an alleyway and is attacked by thugs, but the Dragonfly saves her. The two then try to kiss, but encounter difficulties as Dragonfly is hanging upside down. They eventually kiss for the first time, and Jill thanks him.
The scene then goes to a Thanksgiving dinner at Rick's house. During Thanksgiving, Landers visits the family (everyone is unaware he is the Hourglass). He nearly catches Rick dressed as the Dragonfly, but later manages to figure out his secret identity.
Just as Rick and Jill are about to kiss, the Hourglass comes in and murders Aunt Lucille. After a comical funeral, Rick decides to throw in the towel as a superhero.
Trey and Uncle Albert find Rick after the funeral, and convince him to find and defeat the Hourglass. At a ceremony, Lou, with the help of a Microsoft "Death Machine Maker" disk (a parody of Windows Vista), concocts a plan to make himself immortal by killing thousands of people. Rick finds out where he plans on doing this; a convention of all races, right next to a comic-con. Lou Landers is awarded the Douchebag Of The Year award, and encounters Rick who believes someone else is the Hourglass, and tricks him into attacking the Dalai Lama. He returns in costume and battles Dragonfly, pinning him under a piece of rubble. Hourglass tries to finish off Dragonfly, only for Jill to take the hit, critically injuring her.
After a sincere speech given by Stephen Hawkings to Rick (which Rick points out are the lyrics to Celine Dion's Taking Chances), he dons the Dragonfly suit, and battles the Hourglass on the rooftop. Dragonfly siphons off some of Hourglass's stolen lifeforce to heal Jill, but the Hourglass throws an Hourglass bomb onto Dragonfly's crotch. Dragonfly then jumps in reverse and puts his crotch next to Lou Landers' face, and Lander says his final words, "Oh fuck!", as the bomb blows up, killing him. Jill falls off the roof, Dragonfly jumps to save her, she finds out that he is Rick and then kisses him, he then saves Jill and himself from falling to their deaths by finally growing wings and being able to fly.
The film ends with the dragonfly and Jill flying in the air, with Rick giving his final narration, only to be stopped short, as both are hit by a helicopter.
Instead of the rooftop battle, the Hourglass and Rick battle inside the comicbook convention. An extra part added includes several nerds telling the Hourglass 'how to kill people'. When the hourglass is defeated, Landers' nephew realises that Rick has killed his uncle. Enraged, he heads for Rick, but is knocked out by Trey with the 'Douchebag of the year' award saying, "People throw some crazy shit out in the trash". Instead of Hawking dying from falling from the high building, he is blown up (by an 'hourglass bomb') and crushed by his wheelchair. The helicopter scene is taken out in this version, as Rick and Jill silently kiss while 'The end' rolls onto the screen.
The film was initially slated for theatrical release on February 9, 2007 as Superhero! under the direction of David Zucker. However, it was delayed, and the film later began production on September 17, 2007 in New York, and the director's chair was shifted to Craig Mazin, with Zucker being pushed back to being a producer.
Zucker said the film primarily parodied Spider-Man, but it also spoofed Batman Begins, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Superman. The producer elaborated, "It's a spoof of the whole superhero genre, but this one probably has more of a unified plot, like the Naked Gun had."
|Single by Drake Bell|
|Released||April 8, 2008 (Digital download)|
|Label||Motown/Universal/The Universal Motown/Universal Republic Group|
|Writer(s)||Drake Bell, Michael Corcoran|
|Drake Bell singles chronology|
Star of the film Drake Bell composed (along with Michael Corcoran) and recorded a song for the movie entitled "Superhero! Song" during the movie's post-production. Co-star Sara Paxton provided backup vocals for the song. This song can be heard in the credits of the movie, however it is credited as being titled "Superbounce". It originally appeared on Bell's MySpace Music page. It was released in iTunes Store as a digital downloadable single on April 8, 2008.
Sara Paxton also sings the second song heard during the credits, titled "I Need A Hero" (not to be confused with Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero"), which she also wrote with Michael Jay and Johnny Pedersen.
The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. As of June 22, 2009, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 15% of critics gave the film positive reviews. However, most critics preferred this film over previous spoof films, such as 2006's Date Movie (written and directed by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg), which were critically panned. The Rotten Tomatoes Consensus stated "Superhero Movie is not the worst of the spoof genre, but relies on tired gags and lame pop culture references all the same". Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 33 out of 100, based on 14 reviews, indicating "generally negative reviews".
On its opening weekend, the film grossed $9,510,297 in 2,960 theaters averaging to about $3,212 per venue and ranked #3 at the box office. As of June 25 it has grossed $25,881,068 in North America, and $45,285,554 overseas for a total of $71,166,622 worldwide.
Superhero Movie was released on DVD July 8, 2008. It was released in the rated PG-13 theatrical version (75 min.) and the extended edition (81 min.). The extended DVD features commentary by Zucker, Weiss, and Mazin, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending.
The European (Region 2) DVD has 15 certificate and (according to play.com) has all the features of the Extended Region 1 version.
The film parodies the entire superhero genre but is mainly a direct parody of the first Spider-Man. However, the film also features some spoofs of Batman Begins, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. The scene of the death of Bruce Wayne's parents is parodied. Some of the members of the Fantastic Four are also featured in the movie.
The film also makes references and homages to other films such as when Rick Riker and Trey are in a bus and Trey is pointing out the different groups of cliques, one of which is "Frodos" - kids dressed up as Hobbits looking similar to Frodo, the Lord of the Rings character. The film also targets Wikipedia, when Lou's assistant talks in a very highly scientific and complicated language to explain that Lou needs Cerellium to live. Lou then appreciates him by saying that he is a genius, only to know that he got all of that from Wikipedia, which is exactly seen in Wikipedia's pages.
The film also makes fun of certain celebrities and their real-life actions such as Tom Cruise's Scientology video and Barry Bonds' alleged use of steroids. It also makes fun of British scientist, Steven Hawking. The movie also has instances of product placement such as T-Mobile, iPods, and Craigslist. It is questionable whether it has been made fun of, but there too is the appearance of an iPhone. It also pokes fun at the Fav Five commercials by Drake Bell claiming: "I'm sorry...but...you're no longer in my Five..." Which also spoofed Peter Parker dumping Mary Jane at Norman Osborne's funeral. There is also a reference to the viral internet video 2girls1cup.
[Interviewer]: How was she hurt?
(while falling off the building) Shhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttt!