Every week, I scour Netflix for a movie rated at one star and put it in my queue, suffering through it for your entertainment so that you don’t have to. In the past, I’ve taken on anime cancer demons, softcore Iraq War porn and racist ventriloquism, and this week, it’s essentially Batman and Robin without the charm.
Super Capers (2009)
Starring: All the jokes that the writers of Superhero Movie thought were a little too corny.
This week, I’m heading across the country for San Diego’s Comic-Con International, and while I’ve never been before, I’m pretty sure that after I spend five days in one gigantic room with a hundred and twenty thousand other nerds, I’m going to be pretty sick of super-heroes. That’s why I figured I’d give myself a head start by getting sick of them now with Super Capers, one of the few Netflix offerings to hit the coveted single star.
Seriously. Even Batman and Robin managed to scrape up two and a half.
From what I can tell, Super Capers is meant to be a comedy, but the fact that Netflix itself categorizes it under “Action & Adventure” ought to give you a good idea of just how funny it is. Not that I can blame them, really, as the jokes are of the sub-Family Guy style of alleged humor that consists entirely of reminding you that other movies exist. In some cases, they’re almost jokes, like the fact that the heroes ride around in an RV tricked out to look sort of like the DeLorean from Back to the Future, but just when you think there’s going to be a punchline, nope, that’s all there is to it. Back To The Future is a thing that exists. Cue laughter.
It’s even worse when they get self-referential about it. It’s bad enough that there’s a scene where one of the characters spots posters for Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark and tells another that he knows where he gets his ideas — because those are also things that exist, get it? — but there’s one scene where they quote Star Wars and then talk about how they’re quoting Star Wars and then they quote Star Wars again and then they talk about how they’re quoting Star Wars again and I swear to God it goes on like that for… well, I wasn’t keeping track, but it had to be thirty, forty hours at least.
Like most of the movies that come across my desk here at the Worst of Netflix, Super Capers had a cast made up of a bunch of guys that didn’t really have anything else to do that weekend. Tiny Lister’s got an unfortunately small role, Tom Sizemore turns in a performance slightly less embarrassing than his sex tape, and there’s the pretty much mandatory cameo by Adam West as a taxi driver who claims he used to be “Manbat.” Sweet copyright dodge, bro.
It’s all centered around a protagonist played by Justin Whalin, who played Jimmy Olsen on Lois and Clark and whatever the guy’s name was who wasn’t Marlon Wayans in Dungeons and Dragons: The Movie, although the real attraction (for me, anyway) was a minor part in the first few minutes, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned doing the Worst of Netflix, it’s this:
When Clint Howard shows up, it is party time.
It’s not an entirely irredeemable movie — the opening credits and a couple of flashbacks are drawn by MAD Magazine artist Tom Richmond, and they’re actually pretty neat — but it manages to lousy up just about everything else. The plot’s a mess involving secret parents and time travel that was clearly written with the assumption that the comedy would save it, but considering that the jokes are secondhand Arnold Schwarzenegger references that are actually just recycled punchlines from Saturday Night Live sketches that were popular twenty years before this movie were made, they’re not in much shape to save anything.
To be fair, there’s also a long-running Matrix gag that’s only ten years out of date, so at least there’s that.
|Chris Sims is a freelance comedy writer from South Carolina. He briefly attended USC before he dropped out to spend more time with Grand Theft Auto, and his career subsequently took the path that you might expect from someone who makes that sort of decision. He blogs at http://www.the-isb.com and creates comics at http://www.actionagecomics.com.|