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Review: James Gunn’s ‘Super’ (TIFF 2010)

Most films that we describe as "shocking" fall within the realm of dark drama (Irreversible), serious horror (Martyrs) or creepy thrillers (A Serbian Film). Broad slapstick satires generally don't cross the line into truly disturbing material, but James Gunn's Super does -- and it does so with a good deal of vim, vigor, and uniquely twisted jokes. My good pal Matt Dentler described the film as "Paul Schrader's Kick-Ass," and I've stolen that description because it really fits to a tee. This is a flick that wants you to laugh at some seriously dark and weird material, but it also has the audacity to challenge the viewer to delve a little deeper. In other words, Super felt like a (very funny) comedy while I was watching it -- but after a few hours had passed, I found myself contemplating the flick's darker and considerably more serious side.

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