Even though I still have quite a few relatively major movies that I’ve missed out on the majority of the past year, one of the things that I enjoy the most about working on this site is finding these smaller and lower budget superhero and comic book movies. And trying to get back into the reviewing swing of things I didn’t just want to immediately tackle all the bigger releases, I wanted to seek out some of these smaller flicks that I do enjoy watching. This one was on my radar last year though I wasn’t able to get things lined up with a screener or the correct streaming service. But as of this writing it is streaming on Amazon Prime which I do have for the time being so I checked it out. There were actually a surprising number of parallels to Sky High only at the other end of the spectrum as this takes place at an old age home for superheroes rather than a high school for superhero kids. It’s rated R, has several familiar faces, but it still has a low budget feel in terms of the writing and special effects. The comedy is just a notch above fart jokes, the plot gets interesting towards the third act, but it all fizzles out at the end.
The biggest selling point for Supervized is the cast. There’s Tom Berenger in the lead as Maximum Justice though the movie spends most of its time referring to the retired heroes by their civilian names, in this case Ray. Beau Bridges plays his sidekick/partner Shimmy aka Ted, Louis Gossett Jr is Total Thunder aka Pendle. And Elya Baskin plays Brian a supervillian who sold out his cohorts to the CIA in return for this retirement, his name might not be familiar but it would be remiss to not mention him here as his next most famous role would have to be as Peter Parker’s landlord in Spider-Man 2 and 3. To top it off, Mr. Ditkovitch is pretty much the best role in this movie as his abrasive personality adds the most humor into the mix. The rest of the cast are mostly Irish working actors as this was filmed in Ireland.
While this doesn’t quite go to the depths of parodies like Superhero Movie, this is first and foremost a low brow comedy. And it doesn’t waste any time putting that on front street, the film opens with a shot of Berenger’s bare ass and goes into a birthday party where they joke about blow jobs and a pair of dentures goes flying into a character’s crotch. Aside from that, there’s also a moment where he’s asked to sign an overweight, elderly woman’s breasts that we get to see the side view of, when Shimmy uses his teleportation power there’s flatulance sound effects and frequent references to the smell, a human torch-esque retired hero uses a flaming fart to propel him in his wheelchair, and there’s an extended Viagra joke thankfully without any nudity. When not succumbing to the easy jokes, there are some good moments of comedy just through the interactions of the cast, it works well when the comedy feels closer to the likes of Teen Titans Go! just dealing with the reality of being in a retirement home with super powers rather than going for the gross out humor. There are also some great little moments of humor during the powers test montage that was again very reminiscent of Sky High only the opposite as these are heroes whose powers have weakened and/or have lost full control of them as they have gotten older rather than being kids who are only starting to learn how to use them.
There is a bit of a “one last job” plot going on throughout the movie as Ray starts noticing something fishy going on when one of the community members get their powers “downwardly managed”, becomes catatonic then dies the next day. He later sees some punk kids using his powers while they are out for Hero Day. As no one else sees what’s going on, he gets written off as a hero who’s desperate to be useful again. And yet, the movie doesn’t actually delve into that idea which could have been quite fascinating, instead it’s more accurate to say that he claims to be written off as being senile. It really felt like a missed opportunity while the movie was more interested in playing up the friendly rivalry between Ray and Pendle vying for the interest in the latest woman to enter the retirement community. It follows another parallel to Sky High when it comes to the finale where they round up all the retired heroes to use their powers one last time to make an escape. And yet again, the opportunity feels wasted as the heroes are ultimately led right back to the retirement home where the manager is the one behind it all. She’s using a released supervillain with absorbing powers to absorb all of the hero’s powers to create an ultra-powerful child, but because there needed to be a fight she uses them on herself and is defeated when Ted comes in and basically says all that power is going to kill her, then it does. It’s extremely anti-climactic with a handful of tame slapstick gags before she just evaporates.
What’s most disappointing about this movie is that there are so many interesting ideas that could have been explored with this concept. These are heroes that are mostly forgotten in a way similar to Adam West when his Batman was out of style. They have this entire scene dedicated to Hero Day that feels like they wanted it to be like Comic Con, yet the budget wasn’t there for it and the scene really fell flat in favor of an old boobs joke. There are a couple scenes with Ray’s son who’s trying to get a job in Ireland, but that also feels like they’re just trying to throw in an awkward explanation as to why all these American heroes are retiring in Ireland. There’s a whole family dynamic that’s barely given two minutes and one of those is focused on the fact that his grandkids think his action figures are stupid. And the only current hero is a very metrosexual douchebag that really has zero character development. I had a few laughs with this movie, and enjoyed where the plot was taking me, but I really was hoping for so much more that just wasn’t there. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.