Superhero Movie (PG-13)

Action/Adventure 85 March 28, 2008
By Luke Y. Thompson
Director Craig Mazin has delivered a groundbreaking, whip-smart comic-book spoof that deftly deconstructs the genre without relying on surface-level parody . . . it’s called The Specials, and it came out nearly eight years ago. Superhero Movie, which is only Mazin’s second directorial effort, is everything his first film wasn’t: predictable, flat, full of name-dropping, tragically unhip, and likely to make a decent amount of cash. Drake & Josh’s Drake Bell stars as Rick Riker, a hapless Tobey Maguire wannabe who’s bitten by a genetically enhanced insect and becomes the Dragonfly; what ensues is a silly Spider-Man spoof that’s ironically less witty than Sam Raimi’s source material. Note to the screenwriters: It’s clear you think that jokes ending in the words “MySpace,” “YouTube,” or “Wikipedia” are automatically funny, but it just ain’t so. The best that can be said for Mazin is that he’s still a step up from the demonic duo of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Epic Movie), and Superhero Movie does deliver a small handful of laughs, mostly thanks to the presence of Jeffrey Tambor as a whacked-out doctor. But our standards for parody should be higher.
Craig Mazin Sara Paxton, Drake Bell, Leslie Nielsen, Christopher McDonald, Brent Spiner, Jeffrey Tambor, Jonathan Chase, Marion Ross, Ryan Hansen, Kevin Hart Craig Mazin Craig Mazin, Robert K. Weiss, David Zucker The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films

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