The folks behind the Scary Movie series of spoofs take on comic book flicks.
The quality of the various Scary/Epic/Date Movie brand of parodies has enjoyed a precipitous decline in recent years, arguably reaching its low point in January with the utterly dreadful 300 satire Meet the Spartans. And while Superhero Movie ranks as a slight improvement over that epic debacle, it still doesn't come anywhere close to redeeming the once-proud genre.
Aping the Spider-Man storyline, Superhero Movie centers on Rick Riker (Drake Bell), a gawky teen who becomes infused with special powers after being bitten by a radioactive dragonfly. Donning a green costumer and assuming the moniker "The Dragonfly," he embarks on a crime-fighting career, eventually taking on the worst bad guy of them all, The Hourglass (Chris McDonald), an evil industrialist turned super-villain after a medical experiment gone horribly wrong.
Superhero Movie takes aim at all the major comic-book franchises, including Batman, X-Men, Fantastic Four and the aforementioned Spider-Man, and while it occasionally registers a comedic bulls eye (including a dead-on spoof of Tom Cruise's now-infamous Scientology video), it more often than not misses the target completely. Writer/director Craig Mazin's script contains all the requisite elements of the modern movie spoof, from Leslie Nielsen to fart jokes, one of the latter featuring Marion Ross of Happy Days fame. (Watching beloved sitcom mom Mrs. C reduced to the centerpiece of an extended flatulence gag is almost heartbreaking. Where's The Fonz when you need him?) Pamela Anderson, Lil' Kim and Tracy Morgan all issue cameos, with Morgan the lone funny standout as an African-American Professor Xavier.
If you're a fan of the Scary/Date/Epic Movie line of flicks, chances are you'll find something to like in Superhero Movie, but in the end I think you'll agree that it's anything but a super spoof.
Disagree? Let me know at tleupp@Reelz.com.