Reviewed by: Christopher Walker
|Featuring:||Leslie Nielsen, Sara Paxton, Drake Bell, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher McDonald, Kevin Hart, Brent Spiner, Marion Ross, Jonathan Chase, Ryan Hansen, Michael Papajohn, See all »|
“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|
“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.