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Movie Review

Superhero Movie

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, drug references and language

Reviewed by: Christopher Walker

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Action, Comedy, Spoof, Superhero
1 hr. 25 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 28, 2008
Featuring: Leslie Nielsen, Sara Paxton, Drake Bell, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher McDonald, Kevin Hart, Brent Spiner, Marion Ross, Jonathan Chase, Ryan Hansen, Michael Papajohn, [more]
Director: Craig Mazin
RocketMan” (1997), “Scary Movie 3,” “Scary Movie 4
Producer: Craig Mazin, Robin Mulcahy Fisichella, David Siegel, Matthew Stein, Scott Tomlinson, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Robert K. Weiss, David Zucker
Distributor: Dimension Films

“The greatest Superhero movie of all time! (not counting all the others)”

Look out. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s your regular superhero, as only David Zucker and Craig Mazin would tell it. Yes, the makers of 2 of the 4 “Scary Movie” installments and “The Naked Gun” are at it again, this time poking fun at the recent trend of superhero movies, namely “Spider-Man” (but they do throw in a little “Batman Begins”, “Fantastic Four”, and “X-Men” into the mix). In a long wave of recent spoof movies, this could be the tamest. It’s better than some of the “Scary Movies” and the spoofs of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, but it’s far off from being another “Airplane!” or any film in “The Naked Gun” trilogy.

The movie is, yes, a send-off on “Spider-Man.” A high-school student by the name of Rick Riker (Drake Bell) gets bitten on the neck by a genetically-engineered dragonfly and becomes a superhero known as, uh, Dragonfly. The only people that know his secret identity are Uncle Albert (Leslie Nielsen), his Aunt Lucille (Marion Ross), and his best friend Trey (Kevin Hart). His love has always been his next-door neighbor and classmate Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton), who is among the popular students and going out with class bully Lance Landers (Ryan Hansen). Rick gets help from Professor Xavier (Tracy Morgan), who teaches him how to become a superhero. After his uncle is wounded after a bank robbery attempt, Rick decides to make a costume and become the Dragonfly.

Every hero needs a villain, and the villain of this move is The Hourglass. The Hourglass is Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald), Lance’s uncle and multi-millionaire who discovers that he has a disease and is coughing up blood constantly. He attempts to create something that would heal him from his disease, but winds up shortening his lifespan; the experiment also results in taking the life of his victims upon physical contact, thereby increasing his chance at life.

It’s a wonder to see Leslie Nielsen back in full comedic form, and his role is expanded rather than a limited cameo appearance. Sometime the material works well for him, and other times it falls flat. They also poke fun at celebrities: Tom Cruise and Barry Bonds were the targets, but the most offensive was when they poke fun at Dr. Stephen Hawking. Being a disabled person reviewing the film, I found it offensive seeing him portrayed as a sexual pedophile and reducing his vocabulary to only say the ‘s’ word (this doesn’t count “The Naked Gun” reference at the end of the film), instead of the smart man he is. I really hope Dimension does the right thing and omits this from DVD releases of the film, but I may be in the minority.

As for the content, there are several sexual references, a few obsessive language, and one too many fart jokes during a scene in which Jill and Rick share a private moment together. The jokes may not be suitable for everyone, but some are tamer than what most of them are nowadays.

There has to be a good superhero spoof somewhere, and although I like the Dragonfly concept, it tries to make the most of what it is. Stay for the end credits, because some of the scenes are the one’s that should’ve made the final cut.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Negative—It is supposed to be a comedy, but this movie barely makes you laugh. They were good actors, but the morality of this movie was just NOT good.

Leslie Nielsen plays a pervert (degenerate) uncle. I think the directors must a have a very dirty mind, ridiculing morality. Homosexual agenda.

I would not recommend this movie, it is just a waste of money and time. Trust me, it's true. I went and I regret it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Dsalas, age 42
Negative—I just came home from seeing this movie and my friend and I rated it as the WORST movie we have ever seen in our lives! What a huge huge waste of money—even if we did go only to the matinee. The acting was terrible and the language was extremely offensive. Every gag was very crude sexual humor or “passing gas” jokes. Only a couple of teenagers in the back of the theatre giggled at a couple of the gags. I would have been so embarrassed if I had brought a child to this movie and I was embarrassed myself to have been in the theatre watching it. The only reason I stayed was so I could come home and write this review and warn everyone to stay away from this movie… you'll be so happy you did! I can't think of enough bad things to say about it. AGGH!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—K.j., age 47
Negative—To be perfectly honest, the move was not funny at all. Too many swear words were used as well as references to the sexual organs. It lacked cohesion or a good plot and was the worst spoof I've ever seen. This movie definitely not for kids and in my opinion not for anyone. Do your soul a favor and skip this movie. Let's send a message to Hollywood that this type of trash will not be accepted.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Robert, age 24
Negative—I went to go see this movie with my friends and It was really bad!! I definitely see why its rated for sexual content. It also had terrible language. They said the f-word at the end of the movie, and must of said the B-word 15 or more times and had tons of the other words. There is a ton of messed up things said and done in the movie to make it rated PG-13. Although they had no direct nudity there was partial nudity. I must admit there were funny parts in the movie but its not worth having to see all the other junk in the movie. The Bad content was all through the movie, and very hard to ignore. I ended up leaving early from the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Elliot Dudley, age 17
Negative—My friend and I went to see this movie. We sat through about thirty minutes into the movie and the movie became too vulgar and offensive to sit through anymore. I said to my friend, “If this get's too offensive, we're going to have to leave.” I thought it would become less offensive as the movie went on, but it did not. It got worse. I do not recommend this movie to any Christians or non-Christian at all. This was a waste of my time and money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Alex, age 18
Negative—I saw this movie with some friends for a birthday party and was disgusted! I was hoping to see a movie that spoofed the very dramatic superhero movies that are continually coming out, what I got was a hour and a half of continuous bathroom, sex, and fart jokes. There were a few laughs that were not based on these subjects but those were surrounded by more gross jokes and many “S” words. I try to keep my life clean and am in no way perfect, but I am Not overly sensitive and I can honestly say this movie made me sick to my stomach many times.

Also, the film quality was just average. The movie seemed to be moving very fast without a lot of plot. I understand that it is a spoof of many movies but for me they tried to cram so much in that it lost its capability of being funny at points.

In conclusion, The few parts that were funny (all of which are in the trailer) were not worth all the trash that I had to look away from.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Marie, age 17
Negative—Based upon the reviewer's comments that this movie contained only mild language and sexual content, I acquiesced to my 12-year-old son's request to see the PG-13 rated Superhero Movie. I wound up regretting that decision throughout the movie. The potential humor was sucked out of virtually every gag by a blatant sexual reference or by foul language. While this movie might be amusing to a non-believer, both my son and I left the theater feeling very disappointing. It is a shame that the movie makers settled for crude, instead of clever—some of the outtakes at the end of the credits show that they were capable of creating inoffensive humor. The trailers for this movie will doubtless attract the attention of adolescents and teens who enjoyed the Spiderman movies—but the content is inappropriate for anyone under 15, and will be highly offensive to people of any age who seek to use biblical discernment for the content of their entertainment.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Joe P., age 50
Negative—We walked out of this movie in the first 15 minutes because the humor was almost entirely sexual. We wanted to take our 13 and 15 year olds to see a slapstick, silly comedy. We read the review and saw the average rating and figured there might be a couple of off-color references. We were uncomfortable immediately and the poor taste in humor continued till we left, each worse than the last. I couldn't recommend this movie to anyone and I think the “average” rating is way off the mark!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Kelly Weaver, age 46
Negative—I saw the preview, and it looked great.But when I saw the movie,there was lots of language, sexual humor,and it was just disappointing. I left the movie feeling that I just wasted a night and money. I would strongly recommend to NOT see this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tom, age 11
Positive—This was my favorite spoof. I'm not all that in to spoof's I think they're pointless. I actually liked this one.It deserved its PG-13 rating.It had some b-words,no f-words,and I think one s-word.It was obviously crude, for example, vomiting, farting, and more.This movie was more crude then sexual.It had a little bit of sexual humor but it wasn't that bad.So overall I actually kind of liked this movie!I do not recommend for kids under 12!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Maya, age 38
Positive—I will not lie, I had seen this movie with somewhat doubt, but it actually hadn't been offensive in my opinion. I had even went with my nephew who is 14 and he enjoyed it. The only thing that could be offensive to some people is the bald lady in the wheel chair. There is also a little bit of language. Other than that I'd say it was rather exciting. PG-13 is correct.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mary Johanneson, age 23
Comments from young people
Positive—I saw Superhero Movie with my friend, younger brother and dad one weekend. I was thinking I was seeing some cute little spoof with Drake Bell. Wow, I was wrong! I was laughing soooo hard!! The filmmakers really take humor to the next level in this movie, and I would recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor and over 13 or 14.

Fair warning though, there's a LOT of sexual content used for humor, so if you have younger kids, DO NOT be fooled by seeing Drake Bell, star of Drake and Josh, the innocent kid's show, but I think this is one of those movies which will always cheer you up and make you laugh harder than ever!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Katie, age 15
Negative—This has to be the WORST movie ever. It was completely stupid, and extremely offensive. I refused to watch the end. I'm sorry I watched the first part. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Julia, age 14
Negative—This film is another example of my stupidity when it comes to movies. After such foul-ups as “Date Movie,” “Epic Movie,” and “Meet the Spartans”—the latter which I have commented on—I should have learned my lesson. (Even later I went to see the moderately funny “Disaster Movie.”) I went to see this movie with my sister and dad. My dad liked it, and laughed a lot—but he laughs at almost anything—my sister and I, however, laughed only at a few moments.

The film's plot was disappointing, the gags lasted too long, and there was too much sexual humor, that I don't even think fans of such crudity would find humorous. The parallels between “Superhero Movie” and “Spider-Man” were evident, but the humor didn't play on it too much—which I was dissapointed with. In the other such “Movie” titles, the movies made it a priority to really satire the films they were making fun of, which is not the case for “Superhero Movie.” These filmmakers need to stop while they're behind. No more of the movies. (Even though a “Dance Movie” is scheduled to release soon. I am not going to see that!)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Ben Badger, age 17 (USA)