Friday, August 18, 2006

16th August 06 - My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Some light relief for this week’s cinema outing, as we’ve hit a bit of a cinema drought (soon to be replenished no doubt). My views on the genre of romantic comedies have already been set out in my review of Russian Dolls (something along the lines of their sugary view of the world making me want to hurt someone with hammers) so I was slightly dubious about My Super Ex-Girlfriend, although the presence of Ivan Reitman (Ghostbuster’s director) and the fact it’s a superhero based yarn gave me some hope.

Super-Ex plays on your ‘scary psycho ex’ fears, and asks that well known question: what if your ex was also a super-hero with phenomenal super powers who could whip your arse all the way into space without breaking sweat? It’s an intriguing idea, nicely slotted in after X-Men and Superman to play on our current superhero fetish.

And there are some brilliant twists on the old superhero theme. Uma Thurman’s G-Girl may be great at saving the world, but she’s also jealous and a little bit insane. A missile’s heading for New York, but she’s not so keen to go and help because she’d be leaving her boyfriend with the blonde ‘slut’ from work. Uma doesn’t ham it up, playing her flawed character with little ticks and nicely timed bursts of rage. Meanwhile Luke Wilson coasts as the likeable, but slightly bland male lead, and a plump Eddie Izzard is the baddie with a really weird accent.

What’s quite disappointing about Super-Ex is all the missed chances. There’s little sparks of genius here and there (the literal mile high club, her super quick sabotage of a presentation, a shark thrown through a window) but it’s just not enough to make the grade. There’s so much potential for this to be a genuinely funny film, but it ends up an amusing way to pass the time. Raise the certificate to a 15, up the ludicrous revenge tactics, have more screen time with Luke’s sex-obsessed loser best friend, and I’d be a happy cinema bunny. As it was, I’m struggling to give it a proper rating. It wasn’t like I hated it, but it didn’t have much of an impact. So I’ll give it a CF “good film for Saturday evening DVD when you’re tired and not really up for anything challenging or too engaging”. Or, if I had to be harsh, a CF -1.

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