I know a lot of these parody movies are bad but I assure you this one is not. Superhero Movie is a highly underrated parody of, you guessed it, superhero movies. Specifically, we will be focusing on the first modern iteration of Spiderman starring Tobey Maguire from 2002. And I’m going to be perfectly honest here, these parodies are perfect movies to watch when you get high. They’re incredibly fast-paced, oftentimes surprisingly intelligent and they just put you in a good mood. Sometimes you just want to be entertained and not think too much about every little detail.
Superhero Movie was written and directed by none other than Craig Mazin. I’m sure you know him as the guy behind both Chernobyl and The Last of Us tv shows. He also wrote the script for no less than four Scary Movie sequels and a solid nineties Wayans comedy Senseless. I find it so fascinating that a single movie, the original 2000 Scary Movie, kickstarted this whole new subgenre. Almost all subsequent parodies used its formula and stylistic choices. This is why we got so many movies in the following years. Some of them were good, some bad, and some were abysmal.
So, you had Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet The Spartans, Stan Helsing, and others. They all looked alike and the posters were also quite similar. This made it difficult to figure out which one was worth watching. Superhero Movie stands out in that crowd with its balanced approach. It’s just the right amount of unhinged and self-aware. And since it’s been 15 years since it first hit the theaters, it has a certain nostalgia value as well. Additionally, it’s totally unpredictable and able to go from zero to a hundred in a second. If the first joke doesn’t get you, the second one surely will.
Meet Rick Riker, an unpopular high school who’s in love with the popular girl Jill Johnson. Unfortunately, she’s dating the school bully, as it so always happens to be. Luckily, Rick has his best friend and avid Apple fan Tray to lean on. Today, all of them are on a school trip to a special research laboratory. And Rick doesn’t know it yet but today, his life is going to change forever. After a genetically modified dragonfly bites him, he will start getting all these new abilities.
While Drake Bell was a bit generic in a lead role, he also played it pitch-perfect. He was that generic superhero who always tries to do the right thing. When it comes to the rest of the cast, it’s surprisingly famous. Of course, we’ve got Leslie Nielsen, a living benchmark of any parody movie. Kevin Hart plays Tray, Rick’s best friend, and Brent Spinner the crazy scientist. Superhero Movie parodies not just Spiderman but also Batman and X-Men movies. Each scene is not just another filler scene but it has a joke in it.
For example, when Rick meets Professor Xavier played by Tracy Morgan, he takes him to the “Xavier’s School for The Non-Asian Gifted”. And when his kids showed up, I fucking lost it. Just to be perfectly clear, the budget for this movie, Superhero Movie, was a whopping $35 million. This means that the movie looks and sounds great with good special effects and CGI. And then they randomly through in an excellent Tom Cruise impersonator to push you over the edge. So, get some beers, and some weed, and let the party begin!
Director: Craig Mazin
Writer: Craig Mazin
Cast: Drake Bell, Leslie Nielsen, Kevin Hart, Sara Paxton, Leslie Nielsen, Christopher McDonald
Fun Facts: The producer was David Zucker, the man behind two of the most popular parody movies ever. The movies in question are Airplane! and The Naked Gun.