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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.
  • 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).
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Fake-Hair Drama: Invisible Woman's weave is ripped off by Charles Xavier's wife.
  • Fanservice Extra:
    • Pamela Anderson as Invisible Woman
    • 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.
  • Oh, Crap!: Resulting in this PG-13 movie's Precision F-Strike.
  • 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.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Rick is a rare accidental example; In trying to save his parents from a mugger, he inadvertantly inflicted fatal injures upon them.
  • Shout-Out: 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.
  • 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 Ricker is about as deliberate a Spider-Man parody as you could make, specifically Tobey Maguire's interpretation of Spider-Man.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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):


Dragonfly vs. Hourglass

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.

How well does it match the trope?

4.91 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / OrbitalShot

Media sources: