19 November 2008


Written & Directed by: Hal Haberman & Jeremy Passmore
Full credits from IMDb

Grade: 3/5

In its first act, Special, a quasi-superhero movie that posits the costumed fighter as deluded pillhead, feels like a standard-issue Sundance snoozer: Michael Rapaport plays Les, a lonely outsider, an L.A. (natch) traffic cop like the lovers in Expired, Park City exemplar. He eats microwave dinners alone in front of the T.V. His best friends are chubby stoners — one of whom is a babyfatted Josh Peck, to the assumed outrage of Nickheads and their parents — who run the comic book store where he kills his lunch hour. His love interest is a speech-handicapped convenience store clerk. His diary, read in voice-over to talk us through the movie, includes entries such as, “people shouldn’t give up, no matter how alone they feel, because anything is possible.”

But the indie trappings are a ploy; Special cleverly transforms its quirk into menace, becoming a cultural criticism aimed at the ubiquity of arrogant self-importance.

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