The movie Supersize Me appears, despite having only come out a few years ago, to have had a great influence on many young, aspiring filmmakers.
Release Date: 20 June 2010 (UK)
Director: Steve Sale
Writer: Steve Sale
Cast: Steve Sale
The movie Supersize Me appears, despite having only come out a few years ago, to have had a great influence on many young, aspiring filmmakers. Now, several young men (and perhaps a few women, but they do not seem to be as visible) are trying to follow a similar approach to their subject of choice. Not only will they try to research and observe it, but they also want to use it on themselves, effectively becoming guinea pigs in their own filmic experiments.
Superhero Me is one such film. It takes as its topic the world of “real life” superheroes. Of course, this does not refer to people with mutated genes who can teleport or shoot laser beams out of their eyes. Rather, it refers to biologically ordinary citizens who adopt the trappings of superheroes (costumes, gadgets, etc.) and try to benefit their communities. In other words, they are a little bit like Bruce Wayne/Batman, but with fewer traumas and a lower budget.
Superhero Me (Official Trailer)
Steve Sale decided to document such people, and even become one himself for a while to see what it would be like, thus becoming both the director and star of the movie. He is also a writer (insofar as is possible in a largely unscripted documentary feature) and the star. He tries to actually become a real-life superhero, while getting the opinions of experts and fans on the subject, and observing the people who have actually taken on superhero identities.
As one might expect, this is a movie strongly rooted in pop culture. Actually, it starts off with various fans and experts (or fan experts) giving their insights on what makes a superhero. Steven Sale takes the gist of this data and applies it to his real life. It is highly entertaining watching him slowly gather the trappings of the superhero lifestyle, including a bright yellow skintight costume. He does all this accompanied by Charlotte Sales—yes, his wife.
Superhero Me (Extended Trailer)
Of course, these accessories are interesting, but what about the actual crime fighting? Well, of course, it is not exactly of the type you see in comics and superhero movies. These superheroes, even given their strong commitment to helping others, are intelligent and logical enough to know that they are not equipped to, say, take down a smuggling ring or stop a serial killer. This perhaps explains why Steve Sale tries out most of his “adventures” in his own sleepy town of Sutton, instead of in a place like London or New York.
Still, that does not mean that real-life superheroes are inconsequential figures—even though some of the “do-gooding” that they accomplish is more or less volunteer work, such as the group of nocturnal life-savers who, without fanfare, drive drunken people home late at night, instead of allowing them to endanger themselves or others. Actually, this episode is used to show how a superhero identity can be an obstacle: Sales joins the group in superhero costume, and only gets beaten up by drunks for his trouble.
One of the most intriguing figures in the movie is a Florida citizen who calls himself Master Legend. He helps homeless people and promotes publicity for various important causes. Some cynical individuals might find his name and costume corny, but he is certainly doing a lot of good for his community, and can be called a genuine hero.
Ultimately, the Master Legend scenes highlight one of the major flaws in this film, which is that Steve Sales spends too much of his time documenting his own misadventures instead of exploring the lives of real-life superheroes. In the end, Superhero Me is a decent, good-spirited effort, but would have benefited from shaping by a surer hand.