Superhero Movie

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Superhero Movie Movie Poster Image
Tiresome, generic spoof is all about crude humor.
  • PG-13
  • 2008
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 59 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Pointedly stupid characters make pointedly wrong decisions; villain and hero are equally vulgar. Stereotypes are repeatedly played up for laughs. Rick's dead father appears in a photo wearing Ku Klux Klan robes.


Various fights involve punching, kicking, bruising, slamming bodies into/through walls and glass, and banging heads against surfaces (walls, bars). Rick is slammed by a bus stop sign; an old woman is tossed into a chipper (legs visible, no blood). Weapons include titanium stars, automatic weapons, and handguns (in a flashback, young Rick accidentally shoots his parents multiple times). References to suicide. "Barry Bonds," demonstrating steroids' effects, appears monstrous, with red laser eyes. "Tom Cruise" is killed when he attempts to fly (photo of corpse in news report). Blinking bomb attached to crotch. Flying hero hit by helicopter.


Jill shows cleavage repeatedly; Pamela Anderson shows major cleavage. Rick watches as Jill appears in her window, removing one bra and showing another beneath, then donning a literal string for a thong (not shown). Jokes about computer porn (goats, questionnaires), sex with animals (Rick is "jumped" by lab animals). In two scenes, men appear to be having sex with corpses. Woman tells her husband he has a "tiny penis." Uncle tells Rick that in puberty, "You may bleed from your vagina" (then realizes he's reading from the "wrong book"). Mention of circumcision. "Medical" Web site asks Rick if he's a virgin. "Stephen Hawking" tells students he thinks about sex, describes his "lesbian" nurse. Reference to Hooters. In a rainstorm, both Jill and Rick's nipples appear beneath their wet costumes. Aunt stuffs turkey with items that simulate sex. "Dalai Lama" stripped to diaper.


Language includes one use of "f--k," plus other profanity, "s--t" (one with "dip-"), "son of a bitch," "hell," "damn," "ass" (with "dumb-"), "c--k," and "p---ies." Repeated use of the term "douche-bag" (in lyrics and speech).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

"Stephen Hawking" offers high school students hashish. A doctor injects himself with painkiller (he faints). Aunt puts vodka in Thanksgiving turkey. Rick uses a bong to inhale cake frosting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this broad spoof (which was written and directed by the writer of two of the Scary Movie comedies) features crude sexual humor, repeated pee and fart jokes, and violent slapstick. Sexual allusions focus on women's breasts, adolescent male lust, and bodily functions. The effects of the movie's violence are minimal and meant to be funny, though viewers do see bloody injuries and bodies being broken, wood-chipped, and burned. Language includes one use of "f--k," plus other profanity (primarily "s--t"), and there are visual or verbal mentions of hash, vodka, and a bong.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRichManGold December 21, 2020
Adult Written byannie799 September 1, 2020
Teen, 17 years old Written bySiv Ted May 11, 2016


Some raunchy scenes that make it unsuitable for younger viewers.
Kid, 12 years old September 24, 2013


i like it but it has to many Sh*ts and fu*ks to make me a bit sick, and there is also a ton o sex scenes but there was never nudity. so what else can i say NOT... Continue reading

What's the story?

Like so many movie superheroes before him, Rick Riker (Drake Bell) first appears as an awkward high school student mooning over a pretty blond classmate, Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton). Like Spider-Man, he's then bitten by a genetically engineered bug that grants him a name (here, a dragonfly) and is transformed from geeky to heroic -- sort of. In this spoof, Rick confronts many obstacles: the supervillain who wants to destroy the world (Christopher McDonald); the devoted, clueless aunt (Happy Days' Marion Ross); a randy uncle (Leslie Nielsen); a wannabe sidekick (Kevin Hart); and a bald mentor in a wheelchair (Tracy Morgan). As Rick seeks his purpose as a superhero, he learns to protect Empire City from harm, trust his loved ones and, at last, how to fly.

Is it any good?

A decidedly generic, obvious spoof, Craig Mazin's SUPERHERO MOVIE essentially strings together scenes from other movies, reconceived as fart and sex jokes. All the gags suffer from overkill; for example, when a flashback shows little Rick and his parents attacked by criminals, the child doesn't just witness mom and dad's deaths, as in Batman Begins -- instead, he accidentally shoots them dead himself. When, as in The X-Men, he visits Dr. Xavier's "School for the Non-Asian Gifted," he sees an assortment of "mutants," ranging from a 'roid-raged Barry Bonds (Sean Simms) to a big-bosomed (but frankly tired-looking) Invisible Woman (Pamela Anderson). And when his aunt dies, his uncle doesn't just mourn her -- he tries to hump her corpse in the coffin.

It may be that the golden age for spoofs is over. With The Daily Show making fun of the news and every movie genre skewered at least once already, the concept is too familiar to be funny or very insightful, especially when the jokes hover around bathroom accidents. But it may also be that too many recent spoofs have been lazy and cheap, and that another, more intelligent effort --along the lines of Scream -- could attract a current audience and have something to say about that audience's culture as well. This, however, is not that movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the "typical" superhero story elements that the movie mocks. What characters and plots twists do you recognized from other, "real" superhero movies? Why do you think these elements are repeated in so many superhero movies, comic books, and TV shows? Why do superhero stories have such lasting appeal? Families can also discuss how the movie uses girls and women as objects of humor. Is that kind of thing OK when it's being played for laughs? Why or why not?

Movie details

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