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"Shut Up Crime!" Why Super Is James Gunn's Best Comic Book Movie

Here's why James Gunn's dark comedy Super is his best comic book movie. James Gunn first made an impression as the screenwriter behind the live-action Scooby-Doo movies from the early 2000s and was set to direct the third entry before the project was cancelled. He also wrote the screenplay for Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Dawn Of The Dead, before making his feature directing debut with Slither. This 2006 comedy horror starred Elizabeth Banks and Nathon Fillion and paid homage to 1980s horror movies like The Thing.

James Gunn is best known for his ties to superhero projects, with one of his earliest produced screenplays being The Specials from 2000, a low-budget comedy about a dysfunctional team of heroes that starred Rob Lowe and Judy Greer. Of course, his most famous comic book movie is Guardians Of The Galaxy. Having come from a background of mature genre fare, Gunn seemed like an odd choice to helm a potential franchise launcher, but Guardians' mix of humor and heart saw it become a huge hit. Gunn returned to direct Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and recently produced Brightburn, a dark take on the origin story of Superman.

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He'll be dealing with superheroes for some time to come too, with his next project being The Suicide Squad, and after that, he returns for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. While Guardians is a great franchise his best work in the genre is 2010's Super. This was Gunn's second directorial effort following Slither and the story focuses on Frank (Rainn Wilson), a middle-aged man who becomes depressed when his wife leaves him for a sleazy criminal.

Rainn Wilson as the Crimson Bolt in Super

He soon dons the persona of the Crimson Bolt, a masked vigilante who becomes famous for beating up drug dealers and thieves around his city with a pipe wrench. The Crimson Bolt is famous for his blunt catchphrase "Shut up crime!" which he typically yells before hitting someone over the head with a wrench. Frank also finds a faithful sidekick in the form of comic book store clerk Libby, played by Ellen Page (X-Men: Days Of Future Past).

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While Super went largely unseen during its original release it's gained a cult fanbase. The movie successfully merges Gunn's talent for dark comedy with a surprisingly emotional story about a lost man struggling to find his purpose in life. The performances - especially from Wilson and Page - are uniformly excellent, and the violence balances the line between being horrific and strangely comic. Given the movie's lower budget it obviously lacks the setpieces of Gunn's future blockbusters, but there's something about Super that feels a lot more personal.

This is a James Gunn movie from top to bottom, while Guardians Of The Galaxy is Gunn's version of a Marvel movie. That's not to diminish his MCU work, but with Super, he retained full creative control and made a movie only be could have made. For fans of the filmmaker or darker takes on the superhero genre, Super is highly recommended.

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