With the rash of lame and lame-looking spoofs over recent years, is there any wonder why I was skeptical about this movie? On the heels of such "classics" as Date Movie, Epic Movie, The Comebacks, and Meet the Spartans, was there any reason at all to think Superhero Movie would be good?
I was suckered by both Date and Epic and I vowed not to be again, but we all know how those go. One thing leads to another and BAM! I'm front and center at a spoof. I was able to avoid Meet the Spartans, yet fell under the tractor beam of Superhero Movie. I am at a loss to explain what happened, other than it was a combination of a mildly positive review at Aintitcool and the fact that it was not from the team from Epic or Date. This was actually from the creative mind of a single person, Craig Mazin, a rarity for these sorts of projects lately.
Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Airplane!, and The Naked Gun. We are even past the likes of Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Vampire in Brooklyn - that's a spoof, right? They have been replaced by the likes of the Scary Movie series and all of those wonderful films mentioned in the opening.
Gone are the days when spoofs were funny, had a distinct target, and yet had a timeless quality. In are the days of spoofs that rely on pop-culture references and the stringing together of unrelated scenes from just about every recent movie. It is because of this shift that Superhero Movie is such a breath of fresh air (aside from the wonderful entries from the UK, in the form of Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz).
Now, do not get me wrong, Superhero Movie is not a good movie. It is not likely to be remembered for very long, nor is it anywhere near the films of, say, Mel Brooks. Despite this, Superhero is sporadically very funny, and if you are a fan of the recent superhero explosion, you will surely find something to like contained within it's filmed frame.
The primary target of the movie is Spider-Man. To that end, writer/director Craig Mazin stuck to his single target and organically mixed in bits of other genre-related fare, unlike their namesakes, Epic and Date. From start to finish, the movie is nearly a shot-for-shot rehash of the Sam Raimi film. There is a distinct level of consistency of vision throughout that can only be attributed to having one writer, or at least a limited creative staff - you know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen. Perhaps it is just that Mazin has a better grasp on what a spoof needs to have to be a success. Then again, it just may be that my familiarity with the genre allowed me to enjoy this more than I should have.