It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Super" is being sold as a comedy, but I doubt it will play that way. It begins as the portrait of a lovable loser named Frank, and as it ends, we're pretty sure he's an insane ruthless killer. That's not a joke. Maybe writer-director James Gunn intended it as a joke, but after the camera lingers on the young heroine with a third of her face blown off, it's hard to laugh.
I quite understand that this could all be seen as an ironic commentary on audience expectations; when Ellen Page of "Juno" stars in a movie, we don't much expect to see her brains dripping. But let's face it: Most audiences have little appetite for irony about themselves. One possible way to like the movie might be to observe how unenjoyable it is for people expecting something funny and upbeat, but that would be unkind.
Rainn Wilson stars as Frank, a short-order cook who is married to the lithesome Sarah (Liv Tyler). He's a loser who is content to be a loser. He is also palpably stupid and clueless, a pawn in the hands of the slickster Jacques (Kevin Bacon). Sarah is a recovering addict, a paragon of sweetness until she falls in among low companions, including Jacques, a big-time drug dealer involved with a strip club.
When Jacques comes to Frank's house, looking for Sarah, so clueless is Frank that he cooks eggs for his rival. It must be said that Kevin Bacon plays the scene (and praises the eggs) with such wicked comic timing that you can imagine the whole film centering on that scene and flowering in other directions.