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Supervized

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
Supervized Movie Poster Image
Bawdy humor, salty language in retired superheroes comedy.
  • R
  • 2019
  • 84 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Just because someone is old doesn't mean they should be put out to pasture; we should value the elderly. Teamwork and curiosity are clear themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Just like in many comics, most of the superheroes here are white and male. But of the core team of four, one is a woman, and one is black. The cool, young superhero is Indian. 

Violence

Elderly people are threatened with a knife and, in another scene, a gun. An epic battle sequence between heroes and villains has comic book-style violence: senior citizens are tossed around, and there's a comically scary image. A pool cue is jammed up a villain's rectum (meant to be funny).

Sex

A naked man is seen from the back side. Frequent use of crude sexual jokes/body humor. A couple at a nursing home has sex -- fully clothed but with full gyrations -- with mentions of Viagra.

Language

Frequent use of both "f--k" and "s--t." Other strong language includes "ass," "a--hole," "balls," "bitch," "crap," "dammit," "goddamn," "hell," "hooker," "nut sack," "skanky," and "t-ts." Also lots of anti-gay slurs and put-downs.

Consumerism

Viagra and Uber are each featured in key scenes, but in both, the brand name is used more like a synonym for the service they provide.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke occasionally, although a comment is made that indicates they know it's not a wise choice. Brief scene in a pub shows a superhero drinking ale.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Supervized is a raunchy comedy about elderly superheroes starring Tom BerengerBeau BridgesLouis Gossett Jr., and Fionnula Flanagan. Expect plenty of lowbrow toilet humor, genitalia/sex jokes, and nonstop strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and much more, as well as anti-gay slurs). The opening shot is of a completely nude 70-year-old man shown from the back side; later in the film, a door is opened on two seniors having sex (they're completely clothed). Violent acts -- like a knife being held to someone's throat and a gun being fired -- are thwarted by superheroes' ability, but an epic battle scene has senior citizens being tossed around, and culminates with a comically scary image. Characters smoke occasionally, and there's a brief scene in a pub. Fun-loving adults may enjoy this film, but it might not be the best choice to watch with the grandkids.

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What's the story?

In SUPERVIZED, superheroes in their twilight years live together in a senior care facility run by The Federation. When one of the "super" residents dies following his Federation-ordered procedure to be "downwardly managed," Ray -- aka "Maximum Justice" (Tom Berenger) -- becomes suspicious that all isn't as it seems. His superfriends, including trusty sidekick "Shimmy" (Beau Bridges), rival "Total Thunder" (Louis Gossett Jr.), and former flame "Moonlight" (Fionnula Flanagan), aren't convinced that there's any cause for concern. As Ray investigates, he must fight villains, ageism, and his own physical restrictions.

Is it any good?

The twilight years of superheroes is a clever idea that's worth exploring, but the lowbrow jokey humor in this film makes it come off like a bawdy '80s sitcom. Supervized is directed by Steve Barron, who gave MTV kids many of the music videos they grew up with, including the iconic A-ha "Take on Me" video. The movie's special effects aren't as sophisticated as in that classic, but the campy tone and cheesy visual effects all come straight out of that era. 

The familiar faces are a welcome sight: Bridges, Gossett Jr., and Berenger show they've still got it, and Irish actress Flanagan is a wonder as a superhero who seems just as powerful without her special skills. Add in the excellent Fiona Glascott as the senior care facility manager, and the film is elevated far beyond what the script has to offer. But the lewd, crude, and outdated dialogue evokes a feeling of pity that such top-notch talent is now relegated to working in a film that's beneath their abilities. Though that does fit with the movie's message: The elderly possess the superpower of invisibility because society ignores and forgets them. That's a worthy takeaway, but in creating an unmemorable film that's most likely to appeal to seniors, the message is more likely to be relatable than actionable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Supervized's message that elderly people become invisible in Western society. What does that mean? Do you think it's true? If so, what can you do to counter it?

  • How did you feel about the movie's strong language? Do you think it's necessary to the story? Do you think the blue humor is intended to shock viewers?

  • Superheroes are known for their teamwork. How did you see teamwork demonstrated in the film? 

  • Ray's curiosity spurs his investigation, and Shimmy talks about why it's a trait to be celebrated. Why is curiosity an important character trait?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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