As we can see in today’s movies featuring superheroes as dumb as they are brave, sometimes great power can lead to incredible stupidity.
These characters often possess extraordinary abilities like their more famous Marvel or DC cousins and are willing to put themselves in danger without considering the consequences.
However, they should examine the consequences since they often make more messes than they actually solve because of their idiocy.
Fortunately, the cinematic spectacle of traditional superhuman fantasy remains intact and, instead, often expands the overall feeling of a story that we cannot even take seriously for a single second frame.
On the contrary, this subgenre of cinema’s most famous and long-lived genre often captures us for the sheer entertainment value that we viewers more than willingly accept, suspending disbelief and enjoying the exhilarating ride to the finish line.
Having said all that, are you ready to stare at the dumbest costumes ever seen and meet some of the most unlikely superheroes ever to have their faces painted on a movie screen?
Be careful because these superheroes have as much chance of saving you as they do of killing you, fifty-fifty.
Let’s start with the movie that rocketed James Gunn’s career from the enjoyable and innovative low-budget Troma Entertainment flicks to huge Marvel and DC blockbusters such as Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad.
In this case, the dumb but unstoppable superhero in this movie is Rainn Wilson, a familiar face to fans of the groundbreaking and irreverent famous series The Office.
The actor plays the hapless Frank Darbo, a lonely, suffering husband who cannot accept being dumped by his beautiful wife, Sarah.
Because of the long isolation and exasperation caused by Sarah’s hooking up with rough drug dealer Jacques, Frank decides to strike back and stand up for justice, donning the ramshackle guise of Crimson Bolt.
Initially ridiculed on social media and brutally assaulted by Jacques’ men, the deranged masked hero eventually gets widespread affection and even a sidekick in young Libby, with whom he organizes an assault right into the pushers’ lair to reclaim his wife.
By now, we are all familiar with James Gunn’s style, a unique blend of childlike joy and innocence with outbursts of bloody, ruthless violence, almost as if he were a psychopathic child who enjoys the crazy stories of his crazy characters.
Rainn Wilson plays the role of a lifetime with a dumb superhero whose return we all await, hinted at in a possible universe connected with Brightburn, a delicious horror movie that offered another fierce little evil Superman.
Equally remarkable is the attractive, very youthful Ellen Page (now Elliot Page, after becoming a man), who gently taunts all the ladies obsessed with a comic book or video game Cosplay.
It is a crazy story for a crazy director, who fortunately will not lose his energy by moving on to the gilded world of Hollywood.
Super Lopez (2018)
After talking about Brightburn, a young and lethal incarnation of Superman, we must now talk about a movie about another completely dumb superhero who has the same roots as the famous Man of Steel from Krypton.
This time, it all opens on faraway Chiton, where a brilliant scientist develops the ultimate weapon to win the civil war tearing the planet apart: a genetically superior soldier who can single-handedly turn the tide of battle.
However, the child needs security and time to grow, so the scientist dumps him on Earth where, due to an unforeseeable error, the spacecraft misses its landing point and ends up in Spain, being picked up and adopted by the Lopez family, a humble family running a small workshop.
Little Lopez grows up to become an ordinary office clerk, leading a quiet existence and exploiting his unusual talents at times, trying not to be recognized.
However, intervening to save passengers during a sudden subway accident, the dictator’s army, who now rules Chitón, learns of his existence and sends its soldiers to capture and/or destroy him forever.
Director Javier Ruiz Caldera puts on a classic Spanish comedy, full of unbridled glee (and gratuitous swearing and vulgarity) with lots of absurd action scenes with excellent special effects and assorted foolishness, where the icing on the cake is the serious accountant attitude of the super idiot Lopez, played to perfection by the thoroughbred comedian Dani Rovira.
Equally goofy and unpredictable is his number one enemy, Ágata, a would-be interstellar dictator sent to Earth to hunt him down and played by the beautiful and likable Maribel Verdú.
In short, behold a more than respectable movie from the brilliant mind of comic artist Juan López Fernández, who mercilessly mocks his more famous American colleagues.
Unknown Origins (2020)
We remain in Spain, moving to the chaotic city of Madrid, where newly arrived Inspector David Valentín must deal with a series of gruesome and unexplained murders.
Fortunately, he can count on the long experience and insight of Cosme, a retired colleague who lives with his child/adult son Jorge, who runs a small comic book store.
Moreover, Jorge is great friends with Valentín‘s new superior, Norma, a charming boss of the Homicide Section and also an unstoppable cosplay enthusiast.
When Cosme takes home some photos of the murders, he realizes with Jorge‘s encyclopedic knowledge that the killer is macabrely reproducing the origins of some of the most famous superheroes, such as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and especially Batman.
Indeed, Inspector Valentín also witnessed as a young man the murder of his parents outside a movie theater, just like the famous Gotham City hero, and the ultimate purpose behind these murders is precisely to push the policeman to don a costume and become a real superhero.
Director David Galán Galindo dives into references and quotations, combining comic book lovers’ childlike, enthusiastic emphasis with a thriller/horror aesthetic à la Seven, both in the cinematography and the surreal violence of the murders.
Fortunately, the dark atmosphere is not oppressive, but there is always a fresh breeze of lightness and irony, enhancing Fernando Navarro’s charming script with some good moments of tension and mystery.
Equally compelling is the usual buddy couple composed of the serious Javier Rey alongside the brash Brays Efe, moderated by the sexy Verónica Echegui, a formidable trio I wouldn’t mind seeing in a possible sequel.
In short, Unknown Origins is that oasis of relaxation that every superhero fan needs to remind us to never take them seriously and learn to appreciate even wholesome and easy entertainment.
We end with a sweet vacation in adventure and comedy action of this French movie where the protagonist, young Cédric, is a penniless actor who dreams of making the breakthrough and getting to the cinema that matters.
Indeed, after shooting a commercial for a brand of condoms, he lives in perpetual embarrassment among friends and family, a situation that was already delicate even before.
Indeed, his father is a high-ranking police officer, peering down on him daily as an immense disappointment, while his mother, even worse, wanted a divorce after getting together with his best friend.
Yet even in this avalanche of bad luck finally comes a stroke of luck when his agent finally manages to find him a starring role in a superhero movie.
At that point, Cédric gets his act together, preparing for the many action scenes, until on the first day of filming, he crashes into a bank window driving the powerful car modified for the film.
He regains consciousness without remembering anything of his past, but still wearing his stage costume and therefore believing he is a secret vigilante who must save his wife and child, thus beginning his incredible superhero mission.
The undisputed star of this fun French-style heroic sauce is Philippe Lacheau, director and star of a non-stop merry-go-round of silliness that you throw down all in one go without feeling you’ve wasted any time arriving at the end credits.
Of course, we still have quotes in profusion, such as the parade of heroes in the finale that dementedly traces the Avengers, with the likable Élodie Fontan as sexy Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy and the goofy Tarek Boudali and Julien Arruti, irresistible in their handcrafted parody of Iron Man and Captain America.