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Film / Superhero Movie

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Not by Seltzer and Friedberg, it's actually from Craig Mazin and David Zucker, the creative team behind Scary Movie 3 and 4. While Superhero Movie (2008) still relies on some of their gags, it can still be considered as good a quality movie as the Scary Movie series.

Being a parody of the Spider-Man Trilogy films, it uses the basic premise. Kid isn't popular, goes on field trip to science-y place, gets bitten by a bug, gets superpowers. Meanwhile, the kid's crush's boyfriend's uncle's company is working on an untested device that can cure anything and tries it on himself to heal his terminal illness, which is due to kill him in one hour. It explodes, and gives him some nifty powers that allow him to suck the life out of people, starting with the board of directors who were observing his demonstration.

Superhero Movie contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: When Rick first gets his powers as the Dragonfly, several hijinxs ensue - largely due to his new power giving him extreme grip on anything he touches. At one point, this humorously results in his hands landing right on the breasts of the school principal (played by Amanda Carlin). He tries to pull his hands off in a panic, resulting in her breasts stretching comically until he finally launches himself off. The only other shot of her shows her getting up in surprise, with the part of her shirt where Rick's hands were now ripped away.
  • Actor Allusion: Leslie Nielsen accidentally sends Stephen Hawking's wheelchair into some railing, and launching Mr. Hawking flying into the air, almost exactly as he did to OJ Simpson in the first Naked Gun movie.
  • Advertised Extra: The parody versions of Professor Xavier, Storm and Invisible Woman have a prominent spot on the poster and DVD cover, despite their roles in the film being minimal with mere minutes of screentime (in the case of Pamela Anderson's Invisible Woman Expy, she's The Cameo at most).
  • The Alleged Car: The 1983 Nissan Shitbox (yes, that's its real name). It does not make an actual appearance, but it is briefly listed on a site when Rick tries to see what kind of car he can get with only $300. Its description explains it all:
    This is a salvage title for a previously very nice ride, call about the car. Salvageable parts, and many square inches of un-bent sheet metal. Use for your own sculpture projects, landscaping or restore to like-new condition. Wheels extra, 3 included in trunk.
  • Alliterative Name: Rick Riker (Drake Bell), Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton) and Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald) and his nephew Lance (Ryan Hansen).
  • Alone Among the Couples: Heavily parodied. After forcing himself to reject Jill, a saddened Rick walks down a street, the people he passes by being exclusively couples, performing more and more exaggerated romantic activities. It eventually leads to him coming across two inflatable tube puppets appearing to have sex with each other, to the disgust of Rick.
  • Artistic License Cars: The "1983 Nissan" that Rick finds online is actually (what's left of) a 1991 Peugeot 309. Likewise, the banner ad for a used Hyundai actually depicts a Volkswagen Golf.
  • Badass Preacher: In one scene, the Pope beats up Dragonfly, marking him as this (Especially if we consider that an earlier scene, Dragonfly had defeated several security guards easily).
  • Beard of Sorrow: Parodied. It's fake.
  • Black Comedy: Rick being tricked into attacking the Dalai Lama, and the fight that ensues.
    • Uncle Albert tries to have sex with the corpse of a woman after confusing her with his dead wife.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rick. And Lance, to an extent. Stephen Hawking also suffers quite a lot of punishment.
  • Clique Tour: Trey tells Rick about the bus cliques such as the jocks, the nerds, the emos, the Frodos, and the Scarface Society.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: In a deleted scene, Rick shows up dressed as Dragonfly ready to fight Hourglass. However, Rick does not realize that he did not put on the Dragonfly suit properly, and the left leg of his pants has slipped off. It is not until he notices the crowd (which includes his love interest, Jill) staring at him in puzzled amusement that he realizes that his tighty-whities are partially on display for everyone to see.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Hourglass's titanium blades can cut through diamonds. But Dragonfly's ace in the hole...?
    Dragonfly: I'm not wearing any diamonds.
    • Lampshaded by an irritated eye-roll from the Hourglass immediately afterward.
  • Composite Character:
    • Lance fills the roles of both Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn.
    • Jill clearly fills the role of Mary Jane, though her appearance is more akin to that of Gwen Stacy.
    • Rick is mostly modeled after Spider-Man, but his backstory is that of Batman.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up: After discovering Rick's identity, Lou Landers excuses himself from Thanksgiving dinner by claiming to have "shat [his] pants."
  • Exact Words:
    Rick: I think I have...superpowers.
    Uncle Albert: I find that hard to believe.
    Rick: Ok, Go ahead and throw as many punches as you want- I bet you a hundred bucks you don't land one. [Sticks out his face smugly]
    Uncle Albert: (turns and punches Trey in the face) Easy money! What else can you do?
  • Eye Scream:
    [gloating mode] "From now on, I shall be known as, the hourglass! [smashes an hourglass]... ow, my eye!"
    • Later on there's Rick's attempts to throw aside one of the Hourglass' projectiles. Cue someone shouting "My eye!" in the background.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: Invisible Woman's weave is ripped off by Charles Xavier's wife.
  • Fan Disservice: When Rick briefly walks away from spying on Jill from his window, he returns to spy on her, but looks through the wrong window and sees a fat hairy man with no shirt on.
  • Fanservice Extra:
    • Pamela Anderson as Invisible Woman. She only appears in one scene, but has her cleavage prominently shown.
    • One of the girls at the Herocon(vention) can be seen wearing a strapless corset teddy version of the Dragonfly costume.
  • Farts on Fire: Rick and his girlfriend attempt to have a meaningful conversation by candlelight. Too bad Rick's sleeping aunt keeps farting...
  • G-Rated Drug: After rejecting Jill, Rick starts drinking whipped cream and smoking frosting off a bong.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Jill who's blonde and a very sweet girl.
  • Identifying the Body: Spoofed. After Rick's aunt is killed by the Hourglass, Rick is asked to identify the body:
    Doctor: This is going to be difficult, but we need you to identify the body.
    Rick: [takes a look] That's not my aunt.
    Doctor: I know. That's why it's so difficult.
  • I Fell for Hours: At the end. Lampshaded by Rick.
    Rick: Wow, this is a really tall building.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Lou's terminal illness that leads to him becoming the Hourglass involves him hacking up "healthy cough blood."
  • Jerk Jock: Lance.
  • Logo Joke: The Dimension Films logo turn green at the end, representing the color of the main character's costume.
  • Mess of Woe: Uncle Albert comments on the state of the room when Rick has his Beard of Sorrow.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A few scenes involving Jill (Sara Paxton) can evoke this trope.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Rick seems to do this a lot.
  • No Indoor Voice: The editor-in-chief of the newspaper (until he's taken away by the mental hospital attendants) yells much like J. Jonah Jameson, except he's even louder.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Lou accidentally kills his assistant by draining her life with single touch, his attempts to hide her corpse in a locker by repeatedly shoving her from the back have a janitor interrupting. Said janitor quickly does a Sorry to Interrupt and leaves.
  • Oh, Crap!: Resulting in this PG-13 movie's Precision F-Strike.
  • Only Sane Man: Whilst Rick is just as likely to swing into the craziness of what's going on, his Fascinating Eyebrow moments and general attitude give the impression he has his head screwed on a little tighter, if just barely.
  • Orbital Shot: There is one during Dragonfly and Hourglass' first fight that makes them both disoriented and makes Hourglass puke, prompting Dragonfly to tell the cameraman to stop.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Considering this is coming from the creators of Scary Movie 3 and 4, this is a given.
  • Precision F-Strike
    Lou: (after a crotch-mounted bomb is right in his face) Oh fuck.
  • Riches to Rags: Rick's family was worth billions when he was a little boy. Unfortunately his father was a terrible investor (telling his son to get rid of Google stock and putting everything into Enron while he was dying), so by present day he is middle class.
  • Roadside Wave: Happens to Rick courtesy of a "Just Married" limousine during his Alone Among the Couples montage.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: One of the projects at the school science fair is about how to raise bees. Rick accidentally knocks Stephen Hawking into the hive.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Lou's assistant (played by Brent Spinner), when Lou reveals his powers and massacres his board of directors.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Rick is a rare accidental example; In trying to save his parents from a mugger, he inadvertently inflicted fatal injures upon them.
  • Skewed Priorities: Sure, an old man got shot and is probably dying, but this dancing monkey nearby is pretty neat!
  • Spider-Man Send-Up: Rick Riker is about as deliberate a Spider-Man parody as you could make, specifically Tobey Maguire's interpretation of Spider-Man.
  • Spinning Paper: Used in the montage of Rick Riker's / The Dragonfly's rise to popularity.
  • Stand-In Portrait: At one point, Lou Landers poses behind a framed sheet of glass in the wall and walks out from behind it when a meeting starts.
  • Sticky Bomb: Hourglass tends to use these. In the climax, he throws one at Rick, who proceeds to get it stuck to his hand...then his crotch.
  • That Poor Cat: When Jill and her father have a violent fight inside her house, we hear many disruptive sounds, including the stock cat yowl.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Rick's father. In one scene, Rick looks at photos which show him swimming with sharks, playing Russian Roulette, and dressing up as a Klu Klux Klan member among a group of less-than-amused black people.
  • Tragic Villain: Hourglass. After he gains his powers, he has to kill each day to live each day.
  • Uncool Undies: In a deleted scene, a wardrobe malfunction makes Rick's tighty-whities partially visible to a crowd of people, much to his embarrassment. This embarrassment is likely exacerbated by the fact that so many people saw him in tighty-whities, a stereotypically nerdy type of underwear, as opposed to a "cooler" type such as boxers or boxer briefs.
  • Unwanted Assistance: When the young Rick tries to fight off a mugger, the mugger's gun shoots wildly, injuring Rick's father and mother. Rick's father begs him to stop after a few moments of this.
  • Vampiric Draining: The CEO Lou Landers is dying from an unknown terminal disease that will kill him in an hour. To avoid that fate he becomes a guinea pig for a machine that he built, which is supposed to "restore the body to perfect health". The experiment seeminlgy fails only to reveal that Landers gained the power to drain what appears to be the life force of others, aging them to death while healing him. However it's only temporary and his body breaks down after some time, forcing him to drain the life of people at regular intervals. This leads him to concoct an Evil Plan where he will steal the life force of thousands of people at once to cure him for good and even make him immortal.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: The Hourglass. But at least he gets one, unlike...
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Rick. And he ends up feeding the fishes with itinvoked.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Despite being a wacky comedy, Hourglass can be pretty intimidating and has the least slapstick and moments of stupidity of the film's characters. That and his powers are actually fairly horrifying certainly adds to his Villainous presence.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Subverted when Uncle Albert is shot by a bank robber and Rick thinks he's about to give this speech.
    Uncle Albert: Rick... With- With great power comes...
    Rick: Great responsibility?
    Uncle Albert: I was going to stick with "bitches," but if you want to be a virgin for the rest of your life-
    (Paramedics fit a respirator mid-sentence)
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Done to Rick by a nerd at the Hero-Con.
  • You Killed My Father: During the credits, Lance tries to attack Dragonfly for killing his uncle, but is knocked out by Trey.
  • You're Not My Father: Parodied:
    Rick: You're not my father.
    Uncle Albert: But I love you like your father did. I believe in you like your father did. I even had sex with your mother just like your father did!


Video Example(s):



The editor-in-chief of the newspaper (until he's taken away by the mental hospital attendants) yells much like J. Jonah Jameson, except he's even louder.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoIndoorVoice

Media sources: