If you’re not funny, you can try to fake it by being super controversial and super condescending – Supercon Review
With Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con coming up, Supercon couldn’t pick a better time to release a movie about a convention. Supercon is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD. It features an ensemble cast that plays former TV stars and comic book artists who decide to pull a heist and rob a crooked promoter and an unappreciative and manipulative TV icon. Basically a lot of people at conventions. The movie is full of nerd culture tropes for better and for worse. Sadly, it’s usually for the worse.
Supercon is the premise and the makings of a great comedy on an increasingly popular topic. The film seems to focus on Russel Peter’s character who portrayed Keith Mahar, sidekick to televisions most popular actor of that time, Adam King, portrayed by Clancy Brown. Mahar is dependent on his meager earnings from convention appearances as the rest of his life seems to be falling apart. His meager earnings are reflected in his less than warm welcome to the convention by the convention goers and the convention staff. He meets up with his friends, who are also not well treated, and they all complain about how bad they got it and how undeserving Adam King is. King is an undeniable jerk, who takes advantage of his fans and thinks very little of them. Tensions escalate and Mahar and King get into an altercation, which causes a chain reaction for the group of protagonists to all to lose their jobs at the convention. Then they come up with a plan to pull a heist that steals money away from the crooked convention promoter, Adam King, and does not affect any of their other friends working the convention.
I had high hopes for this film, Clancy Brown, Russel Peters, Mike Epps, Maggie Grace, and John Malkovich sounds like it would make a hell of a movie. Sadly it doesn’t. The writers: Zak Knuston (also director), Andrew Sipes, and Dana Snyder, appear to have first-hand experience of nerd culture and conventions. And sad to say, their portrayal of fandom is fairly accurate. Early in the film the Wheeler character goes on a hateful tirade on Asians because Grace’s character appears to be dating one. Few things trigger insecure white men more than seeing an Asian Male with a White Woman. So in terms of accurate portrayal, the writers seem to know what they’re talking about. Supercon also is said to be based on a true story, which adds to the film’s appeal. But sadly, it just never delivers on its premise and wastes its potential.
Performance wise, every actor does the best with what they are given with, but they are given a huge pile of loosely cohesive shock value jokes. I really wanted to like this movie, but from the start, it’s nothing but very lazy shock value jokes. Keith Mahar used to play a racist minority stereotype as a kid, which is common and honestly opened the door for some smart and unique story and comedy. The writers could have explored that and done some great things, but instead, they made Keith Mahar’s role have ball cancer. Maybe it’s a reference to a show that had to up their affirmative action minority character with a terminal condition, but if it is, it is obscure and completely pointless. So they undercut the movies main character with a ball joke that becomes his identity, that he eventually accepts. Then there’s the dimensionless character that becomes the main protagonist, Ryan Kwanten’s Matt Wheeler, who is the embodiment of toxic fandom- like complain about John Boyega as a Storm Trooper toxic fandom. He’s an ignorant, shallow, stereotype of a casual nerd / undeveloped as a person actor who despite being a completely condescending sexist, racist tool, gets the girl. Maggie Grace is treated as nothing more than eye candy, which is also another shame. Aside from Wheeler, I have experienced fantastic performances from the stars of the film and will say they did the best with what they were given. Even Kwanten, as he sold that character exactly how it was intended. But therein lies the film’s problem, it’s intent.
The writers know the world their writing about and I can get past some of the toxic fandom, because it is accurate and a large part of the culture. But the film gets to a point where it relies more and more on obnoxious and offensive jokes and gags. This happens in the dialog, the situations, and eventually becomes this contest of being more obnoxious and offensive than they were in the last scene. It basically became a film about being toxic about fandom is okay as long as your not the most toxic person around it. Then post-heist it magically becomes a team of wronged nerds who form a heist team. The overarching feeling is that the writers are jaded nerds who were trying to use it to share the story of a big event, but inevitably gave into their hate and just aired it through this movie. If Michael Bay Explosions and jarring fast cuts were replaced with obscenity, obnoxiousness, and shock value, that’s how you end up with Supercon.
Supercon is an apt title, as the audience is super conned into 2-hours of nerd grievance and toxic fandom. A star-studded cast is wasted and turned into a group of whiners who pull off a heist and get revenge on the two people who are somehow worse people than they are. If you were hoping for a comedy heist movie about comic/pop-culture conventions, you’ll be duped into a movie about toxic fandom and escalating shock value attempting comedy. If you find humor in escalating obscenity and are a toxic fan, you may enjoy this movie. Otherwise, I’ recommend passing. My Supercon review gets a 1/5.