The UK has never really been home to any great superheroes. Sure, we had Eric, the everyday schoolboy who upon occasion became Bananaman, and Marvel brought us the rather lesser known Captain Britain, but for the most part, America has been the motherland for the world`s mightiest heroes. All that is about to change, however, as a new power is rising in the humble streets of Peckham. Of course, in the overly PC land of merry England, the life of a superhero is plagued with bureaucracy and form-filling.
After being hit by a meteorite, London postman Robert Kenner (Brett Goldstein – Slave, The Rope) develops Clark Kent-esque superpowers. Speeding through his postal route, he is quickly employed by the head of the Ministry of Defense (Catherine Tate – Doctor Who, Big School) to become Britain`s latest weapon in global politics.
Shot as a mockumentary, SuperBob is a hilarious twist on the traditional superhero yarn, pondering what it would be like to deal with the responsibilities of being a hero in our modern nanny state. Bob has to deal with the same problems as everyone else, from the perils of dating to the struggle to find the right electricity supplier. Working as a professional superhero, meanwhile, is filled with nothing more than pen-pushing ans safeguarding rules, meaning that in order for Bob to actually save anyone, they have to fill in a pile of wavers lest anyone should try to sue the MOD.
Of course, other attempts at the “real life superhero” genre have been made before; we`ve had the uber-violent likes of Kick-Ass, Super and Defendor, each with their self-made vigilantes, but what really makes SuperBob stand out is the dry tongue-in-cheekness of it all. Seeing a man who can fly faster than a speeding bullet discussing gas prices is just so quintessentially British in its wryness.
Brett Goldstein puts in a wonderful performance as Peckham`s flying postman, managing at once to be utterly charming and completely doddering as the unlikely hero, while Catherine Tate makes a perfect by-the-book head of the MOD. The real star, however, is Natalia Tena (Tonks from the Harry Potter films) as Bob`s Colombian housekeeper and eventual love interest. Tena manages to combine a mentor, lover and friend into a touching and hilarious cocktail.
Completely original and laugh-out-loud hilarious, SuperBob is a refreshing new take on the genre amidst the perpetual cavalcade of comicbook movies with which we have been inundated over the last decade. Filled with wit and dead-pan comedy SuperBob is the hero that Britain needs, but not quite the one it deserves right now.
4 / 5
Dir: Jon Drever
Scr: Brett Goldstein
Starring: Brett Goldstein, Catherine Tate, Natalia Tena, Laura Haddock
Prd: Jon Drever, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones
DOP: Mattias Nyberg
Music: Rupert Christie
Run time: 82 mins
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