Supercon has a home run premise to be the comic con equivalent of Office Space or Waiting with a twist of Ocean’s Eleven. Instead, it’s lazy, mean-spirited and painfully unfunny.
The inner workings of cons and the dynamic between B-list and D-list is ripe for ridicule. Supercon goes for cheap jokes crammed with sophomoric humor. At the peak of its ridiculousness, one character falls from a vent into an unflushed toilet. In fairness, that scene best describes the feeling of watching this poor excuse for a comedy.
It’s time for Supercon and Keith Mahar (Russell Peters) is dressing another weekend of fans barely remembering his bit role on a TV show. The worst part is Adam King (Clancy Brown) constantly belittles and harasses his old co-star.
Keith finally reaches his breaking point and lashes out at Adam. Fearing losing his moneymaker, Supercon promoter Gill (Mike Epps) fires Keith and his three pals. That inspires Matt (Ryan Kwanten) to get payback by plotting a heist and stealing Gill and Adam’s earnings. To pull it off he’ll need help from Keith, comic book artist Allison (Maggie Grace, Taken 2) and TV star Brock (Brooks Braselman).
This could work if Keith and his crew of misfits were remotely likable. They’re not and it makes for an overall crummy experience. Of course, it should be a hard sell pulling for the guys who make racist and homophobic jokes.
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Maybe the biggest problem with the film is screenwriters Andy Sipes, Dana Snyder and co-writer/director Zak Knutson make everything far more complicated than necessary. With more pop culture fans attending conventions, this was an opening for a film that spoofs the entire experience. There’s some glimpses like the dorky Nerdgasm podcast crew, the passing remarks of comic book creators and the pretentious panels. The heist subplot is OK, but like most aspects of the film, the execution is lacking.
At least the filmmakers had a few favors to call and lined up some quality talent. Epps and Brown give more enthusiastic performances than this film deserves and Malkovich provides some badly needed dignity even as his character wears an awful toupee. Not that they could salvage this film to any degree, but they do provide some fleeting moments of entertainment.
Knutson’s direction is adequate. He gets creative in working with a limited shooting space and has solid transitions, but he’s not the kind of director to coax better performances out of his cast or make weak comedy funny.
There’s a need for a snarky, cynical look at the con experience from the inside. Supercon could have been that film, but it went too low-brow to deliver on its potential.
Rating: 2 out of 10
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment