Superhero Movie is a 2008 American superhero parody film written and directed by Craig Mazin, produced by Robert K. Weiss and David Zucker, and starring Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, and Leslie Nielsen. It was originally titled Superhero! as a nod to one of the Zuckers's previous films, Airplane!, in which Nielsen also starred.
A spoof of the superhero film genre, primarily Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, as well as other modern-day comic book film adaptations, the film follows in the footsteps of the Scary Movie series of comedies, with which the film's poster shares a resemblance. It was also inspired by, and contains homages to some of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker's earlier spoof films such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun.
Rick is later met by Xavier (Tracy Morgan) who takes Rick to his school for mutants, where he meets Storm, Wolverine, Cyclops, Invisible Woman, Barry Bonds and Mrs. Xavier, who convince Rick to become a superhero. At home, Rick creates a superhero costume and dubs himself The Dragonfly. As Dragonfly, Rick starts watching over the city and fighting crime, quickly becoming a media sensation, despite being unable to fly. Later, Dragonfly attempts to stop Hourglass from robbing a warehouse full of "ceryllium" as part of his evil plan but fails, allowing Hourglass to escape.
Rick decides to end his superhero career, but knowing that Hourglass would head to an awards ceremony to kill hundreds of people, he gets Albert to take him there. At the ceremony, Rick is tricked by Landers into mistaking the Dalai Lama for Hourglass, and chaos ensues. Meanwhile, Jill discovers that Landers is Hourglass. When Hourglass clashes with Dragonfly on a rooftop, he tries to activate his machine, but Dragonfly manages to kill him with a bomb that had been comically stuck onto his genitals after being thrown by Hourglass, and finally avenging Aunt Lucille's death. Jill is thrown off the side of the building by the explosion, but Dragonfly manages to grow wings and save her. Jill learns that Rick is Dragonfly due to a family ring he wears being exposed through a hole in his glove and the two begin a relationship. After being thanked for saving the city, Rick flies away with Jill, but the two are unexpectedly rammed by a passing helicopter.
Zucker said the film primarily parodied Spider-Man and Batman Begins, but it also spoofed X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Superman. The producer elaborated, "It's a spoof of the whole superhero genre, but this one probably has more of a unified plot, like The Naked Gun had."
The film parodies the entire superhero genre but is mainly a direct parody of Spider-Man and Batman Begins. However, the film also features some spoofs of the 20th Century Fox X-Men characters, and the Fantastic Four, and some members of both teams are featured in the film.
Superhero Movie is written and directed by Scott Mazin, director of the 2000 comedy about superheroes The Specials. The film stars Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Pamela Anderson, Tracy Morgan, Regina Hall, Craig Bierko, Simon Rex, Leslie Nielsen, Marion Ross, Kevin Hart, Jeffrey Tambor, Ryan Hansen, Brent Spiner and Keith David.
After being bitten by a genetically enhanced dragonfly, a young man (Drake Bell) becomes a superhero and saves the city from a life-sucking villain (Christopher McDonald). "The Dragonfly" navigates through a city full of superhero parodies. Also with Sara Paxton, Pamela Anderson, Tracy Morgan, Regina Hall, Craig Bierko, Simon Rex and Leslie Nielsen. Directed by Craig Mazin. [1:25]
If I say that I'm not much of a fan of comic-book or superhero movies, it's not because of the source material but because of the movies made from them. Comics fans haven't been as ill-served by the movies as video gamers, but I've noticed that even some of the most fervent appreciations of "The Dark Knight" carry an undertone of defensiveness, almost as if surprised that the filmmakers would treat this "crusader in tights" material seriously, instead of as camp. (Let's just not mistake "serious" for "dreary" or "pedantic.")
"The Dark Knight" has been praised as "the best superhero ever made" -- or even "the first great superhero movie," but even if I thought those things were true, they sound like backhanded praise to me. How sad would it be if it took until 2008 for somebody to claim they'd seen "the first great horror movie" or "the first great comedy," to name a couple other still-disreputable labels? As I've said, I don't think "TDK" is an exceptionally strong or resonant movie, but it never occurred to me to think less of it because it's about characters named Batman and the Joker.
Here's an excerpt from an intro to an online selection of Roger Ebert superhero movie reviews (circa "Superman Returns," with an emphasis on origin stories) that I wrote in 2006. It's called, with deliberate self-consciousness, Superheroes: Men in tights":
So, it's not just about the "skills," in non-superhero Napoleon Dynamite's term. Superheroes may be driven by deep psychological wounds that will never quite heal. And sometimes capes and tights are the only dressing that works.
Because their identities must be concealed, and they can only fly free and express themselves fully while in costume, it's no wonder superheroes are often seen as metaphors for closeted gays in a hostile world. (Yes, this was part of the mythos long before "Superman Returns.") And superheroes tend to discover, and learn to master and control, the full extent of their powers in adolescence, along with their sexuality. (Think of the Midwestern section of "Superman," with young Clark Kent learning discipline on the farm, and the high school football field.)
It's still apparent that we're living in the golden age of superhero movies. Looking at this year's slate from this particular genre, there will be eight movies release, whether they're from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise or the DC Extended Universe. Although superhero movies have existed for decades, the genre really started to hit its stride at the start of the century, but it was 10 years ago that several groundbreaking events occurred that changed the game for this corner of movie-making.
2008 was an interesting year for superhero movies. From Marvel movies like Punisher: War Zone to original stories like Hancock, there was a variety of stories to choose from that involved characters who had mighty abilities and/or fought crime. However, we've selected three specific superhero movies that were not only well-received in 2008, but left behind legacies for the genre that still resonate to this day and changed how we look at these kinds of theatrical offerings. Starting off, let's turn our attention to Tony Stark's first cinematic outing.
Iron Man spent over a decade being developed at three different studios, but by 2005, Marvel reacquired the film rights to the character, and the company decided that it would be its first self-financed movie. That's certainly a big deal, but other than that, Iron Man didn't look like it was going to be too different from past Marvel origin story movies at first glance. And for the most part, that was true, as the movie was firmly focused on showing how Tony Stark went from apathetic weapons dealer to idealistic superhero. But in fact, Iron Man was planting the seeds for something much greater.
Upon its release in July 2008, The Dark Knight was met with critical acclaim from longtime Batman fans and regular moviegoers alike, as well as made over $1 billion worldwide. Following Batman's attempts to bring down organized crime in Gotham City and stop The Joker's reign of terror, The Dark Knight certainly had plenty of superhero movie elements, overall it felt like a crime film, and that worked to its advantage. From a certain point of view, The Dark Knight proved to the masses that superhero movies didn't just have to be looked at as blockbuster entertainment. With the right creative vision, some could also be considered works of art. And while Batman was still the focus of the story, there's no arguing that Heath Ledger stole the show as The Joker. The actor's manic energy and this Joker's anarchistic ideology blended together into a Clown Prince of Crime portrayal that measured up to Jack Nicholson's from 1989's Batman, if not was much better. The Dark Knight also remains one of the few comic book movies to win an Academy Award outside of the technical categories, as Ledger posthumously won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
10 years later, The Dark Knight is still considered both one of the best Batman movies ever and one of the best superhero movies. Some might even go so far as to call it a cinematic classic across the board. Christopher Nolan concluded the Dark Knight trilogy in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises, and while that wasn't received as well, it doesn't taint what its predecessor accomplished. Whether you're watching it as the middle chapter of the Dark Knight trilogy or as a self-contained movie, The Dark Knight has cemented its place as a crowning achievements in the world of genre storytelling.
Right up front, we'd be fooling ourselves if we said that Hellboy II: The Golden Army was just as beneficial to the superhero movie genre as Iron Man and The Dark Knight. That being said, the sequel centered on the Dark Horse Comics protagonist did leave its own unique impression. Like its 2004 predecessor, Hellboy II was met with positive reviews, and while the first Hellboy movie introduced the character and his supporting cast to people who'd never picked up one of his printed page issue, Hellboy II is what cemented this property as a brand. It also helped further boost director Guillermo del Toro's profile for a wider audience, as by that point, aside from the first Hellboy movie, del Toro was best know to American audiences for helming Blade II and Pan's Labyrinth. 041b061a72