The Movie Waffler New Release Review - <i>SUPERBOB</i> | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - SUPERBOB

Struck by a meteorite, a pedantic civil servant gains super powers.

Review by Troy Balmayer (@tbthereviewclub)

Directed by: Jon Drever

Starring: Brett Goldstein, Catherine Tate, Natalia Tena, Laura Haddock, Ruth Sheen

"Soaring with comedy and British wit, this heroic rom-com is super. It’s refreshing to see a superhero film not stuffed full of CGI, one line retorts and Stan Lee cameos."

Soaring with comedy and British wit, this heroic rom-com is super. It does have a sheer tendency to drift into predictable softness but the parts in between make that forgivable. It’s an enjoyable story delivered with a great mix of romance, comedy, and those super hero problems.
Bob Kenner (Brett Goldstein) is now a super strong civil servant for the Ministry of Defence after being struck by a meteorite. He can fly, save people but fails spectacularly at getting girls. Lustful librarian June (Laura Haddock) and passionate maid Doris (Natalia Tena) are two females that cause further issues for awkward Bob.
Just the title of this movie alone can tell you what you’re in for; the combination of ‘super’ with ‘Bob’ is so silly and simple but at least for me makes me chuckle a lot. It’s refreshing to see a superhero film not stuffed full of CGI, one line retorts and Stan Lee cameos. The UK setting, specifically Peckham, makes this film stand out; the grit and non-glamour of the setting works great against the wondrous miracle of Bob being the only superhero in the world.
What this film does brilliantly is deal with the dull side of politics. To have a superhero flick and then put in the legal jargon, paperwork etc, is akin to Hot Fuzz showing the boring side of police duties. We find out that Bob makes all his saved figures fill out forms, and his MoD superior is strict and adamant that world relations are tight. The whole thing boiling down to an American wanting Bob’s handshake is priceless dramatic material. News headlines and shouted off screen voices bring more laughs concerning no more forms….one form only, Wham bars and people worried with Bob turning up on Tuesday – his day off.
It’s a droll script, and I mean that in a great way, I do, believe me. It doesn’t even feel scripted; it feels authentic and real, as if this is dialogue is genuine. William Bridges and Brett Goldstein pen a comedic tour de force that must be aided by on screen improvisation too. The basic and bumbling Bob, the unbothered Peckham public, and June’s clinging on are great tropes; every character is interesting. Through this feature, Jon Drever’s story, from a short film, is handled with precision, making the comedy hit alongside the actually quite poignant moments about finding love whilst being a most wanted hero.
Jon Drever adapts his extended idea into an 85 minute treat; he captures the fun of this film through an interview style documentary of Bob’s life. The title cards themselves are humorous, and having Bob and friends recount his feelings, home or family builds the character well. The camera never really shakes; it’s a smooth ride with circling camera work assisting the romantic parts of this genre, i.e. Bob and Doris dancing at the care home. Slow motion is also used and is never dumb, which is a blessing.
Brett Goldstein shifts around his speech as if being alive is the most uncomfortable thing in the world. It’s a funny trait and we get wrapped up into Bob sounding like the most awkward man to gain these powers. Goldstein has a dry manner in the delivery of his lines, which helps flesh out Bob as a character even further. Natalia Tena is a spark of delight as the hot to trot Columbian house cleaner who serves as Bob’s hopeful way out; she plays sexy wind up merchant with true sadness in beautiful balance. Laura Haddock is the gorgeous June, who becomes transfixed by Bob even when things don’t work out in her favour. Her story is fun to watch as she hangs onto every word with her wide eyed expressions. Catherine Tate is Theresa, who is feisty yet terrible as the head of her job.
I would definitely recommend this film; it has an unbreakable charm, with Brit dryness running throughout. There are stupid situations but most of the entire quest to find love is an investing driving force in this movie that flies alongside the heroic moments like a necessary sidekick.