Armored suits and teeny kahoots! Lock down that pocket protector for The Five Greatest Nerd Movies of the Past Ten Years!
This is not a superhero movie. This is a movie about Bill Gates, blessed with playboy looks, inventing a combat vehicle that allows him to defend people with tangible good. When observed in the scope of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, imagine Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne united as one character, delivered without all the heavy-handed brooding and flamboyantly morose undertones. Bottom line, Favreau and Downey Jr. have more fun.
As a creator, Seth Rogen has established himself as a formidable, lasting voice in the realm of nerd comedy. When placed next to teen ensemble comedies of the preceding decade, Superbad towers above them in terms of selective immaturity, sidestepping a return to the nerd-chic that John Hughes cemented so very well in the genre. The execution by this particular ensemble, particularly that of the underrated Christopher Mintz-Plasse, is delightfully oddball. If only all teen comedies ended with something as sweet as Curtis Mayfield.
The conundrum with “Kick-Ass” lies in the integrity of the source material: it is a comic book making fun of comic book heroes. Would it not have made more sense to make a comic book movie that makes fun of comic book movies? Despite this thematic hiccup, the execution of Vaughn’s vision serves as a capable warm-up for his work on “X-Men: First Class“. Ever-cherubic Clark Duke makes the best out of an otherwise blah part, destined for bigger things.
This is a rare example of CGI used to inform and enhance a quality storyline; Neil Blomkamp is one of a handful of filmmakers working today who is able to successfully deliver content of this merit. Virtual unknown Sharlto Copeley delivers a bravura performance as under-dork Wikus Van De Merwe, eschewing a heroic schmuck who achingly longs to return to his simple cubicle-jockey lifestyle. Don’t wait for this to make it to Criterion to celebrate the fine piece of science fiction.
JJ Abrams has a serious boner for Spock, and the retooling of the initial Trek franchise serves as his dedication to the greatest nerd in galaxy. Orci and Kurtzman’s take on the Vulcan first officer bursts forth as part-samurai, part-guru, surpassing James Tiberius Kirk as the most fascinating character in the Trek universe.