The ‘Real Life’ Super-Hero Movie Sub-Genre

by clementinepumpernickel

The latest addition to this burgeoning sub-genre, Griff the Invisible, is incoming from Australia, but given that the review-quote praising the movie is from Vogue magazine, I do wonder about the quality of it:

Perhaps the most gleefully violent of all of the ‘real-life superhero’ sub-genre, Super requires a pretty strong stomach:

Super isn’t really that realistic, ricocheting between a ritalin powered fairy tale and a superhero take on Taxi Driver. The opening credits are pretty indicative of the tone of the movie:

Kick Ass also purports to be a ‘real-life’ superhero movie, but with the character Dave’s voiceover throughout the movie (and the location of where Dave lives), it seems to me to be very reminiscent (almost to the point of parody) of the over-earnest approach that Sam Raimi takes with Spider-Man.

With the addition of Hit Girl, any pretence of reality goes out the window. Just as well the movie is really great fun:

Woody Harrellson is excellent as the cognitively disabled Defendor:

But I think I preferred Special (2006), even though it’s not quite as slick as Defendor:

Like many of the movies above, the late John Ritter doesn’t seem to realise the danger he could be getting himself into, but he goes about his superhero antics with a twinkle in his eye and a million dollar smile (this film was made pre-Watchmen, in the altogether more innocent time of 1980):