: : : The Specials

Story

"How do you get to be a Special? You go to a special school." The jibes one endures when a part of the "sixth or seventh best superhero team in the world." The Strobe (Thomas Haden Church) has become vain and self-absorbed, his frustrated wife Ms. Indestructible (Paget Brewster) has gone looking for love in the arms of the Weevil (Rob Lowe), and sex-mad, blue-faced punk Amok (Jamie Kennedy) is getting bored with being a good guy and longs for his supervillain days, when he could sneak a cigarette without publicity fallout. The team is like a bored group of kids stuck indoors on a rainy day, and inaction and frustration has led to backbiting, infighting, love affairs, and long-held grudges. The hilariously disastrous unveiling of their action figures (with such absurd accessories as "a giant meat thermometer") is the final straw: the Specials are no more.

On the surface The Specials looks like a sitcom version of Mystery Men with a droller sense of humor ("Remember the time we caught and drained the Blister?"). The sly script drops the misfit bunch into a suburban world where superheroes are just another part of the media and marketing landscape. First-time director Craig Mazin is a little clumsy putting it all together and perhaps too effectively captures the bland, everyday-ness of the setting, but he tweaks familiar clichés with straight-faced absurdity. The underplayed performances and deadpan gags soon catch up to the concept, and by the end it emerges as the funniest, smartest superhero parody in ages. --Sean Axmaker

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Jordan LaddNightbird
Rob LoweThe Weevil
Jamie KennedyAmok
Mike SchwartzU.S. Bill
Thomas Haden ChurchThe Strobe
Paget BrewsterMs. Indestructible
Kelly Coffield ParkPower Chick
Sean GunnAlien Orphan
Judy GreerDeadly Girl
James GunnMinute Man
Jim ZulevicMr. Smart
Jenna FischerCollege Girl
Melissa Joan HartSunlight Grrrll

  • Genre: Comedy Movies
  • Director: Craig Mazin
  • Producer: Pioneer
  • Length: 82 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaSep 18, 2000
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMar 20, 2001
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