Panel Report: Drive Angry, Skyline & Super
Posted on Saturday July 24, 2010, 08:15 by Nick de Semlyen in Comic-Con 2010
After Thursday’s procession of hyped-up heavy-hitters, from Scott Pilgrim to The Expendables, Friday morning saw three less well-known projects flaunt their wares in Hall H. First up, Drive Angry. It may be Nicolas Cage’s first 3D movie, but otherwise this looks like business as usual for the Czar of Zany. In fact, seeing as it’s the tale of a supernatural avenger driving a car around at breakneck speeds, it appears to be positioned exactly equidistant between Gone In 60 Seconds and Ghost Rider. Cage plays a man whose daughter has been murdered and grandchild kidnapped. He’s on a mission to get bloody payback – and he’s not going to let the fact that he’s dead put him off. As he flees Hell in a classic ’69 Charger, he has to contend not only with twisted criminals but a demonic foe known as The Accountant (William Fichtner), who’s been sent by Satan to drag him back to the netherworld.
The footage we’re shown is a pretty even mix of cool and corny. On the minus side, there’s that none-hoarier chestnut – a shot of our hero walking nonchalently away from a fireball – which suggests that Cage doesn’t watch Saturday Night Live. But also a fair amount of ‘70s exploitation-style carnage, with the Charger doing some spectacular leaps and spins. Fichtner also shows why he’s one of the best support actors in the game, eking cool out of every scene he’s in and doing a surprising amount of action – he not only wields a shotgun so huge that he calls it ‘the Godkiller’, but gets to dodge a bullet in ultra-slo-mo.
Despite it being first thing in the morning, Cage gracefully handled all queries thrown at him by audience members. One chap wanted advice on buying a haunted house. Another asked which film had the better car chases: Drive Angry or Gone In 60 Seconds (“I preferred to shoot the ones in this,” replied Cage, “because I had Amber Heard on the hood of my car”).
One thing’s for sure: the movie will be batshit crazy. And at least there are no bees in sight.
Next up on the stage was Skyline, a movie which was barely on our radar before we saw the gigantic billboard covering an entire side of a San Diego hotel earlier this week. Like Battle: Los Angeles (whose marketing team has also gone full-pelt, parking military helicopters and tanks around the convention centre), it’s about an alien invasion of LA. Unlike Battle: Los Angeles, it doesn’t look particularly promising, mostly because it’s directed by the pompously self-titled Brothers Strause, the gibbons behind Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem.
The set-up sees supporting characters from popular TV shows (Eric Balfour from 24! Donald Faison from Scrubs! David Zayas from Dexter!) get stuck in a high-rise building as spaceships descend from above and start to wreak havok. There’s one nice touch in the footage we see – shots of thousands of humans getting sucked up into the alien crafts as if they’re giant vacuum cleaners – but otherwise this looks like cheapjack genre fare with boring characters. The easily impressed Hall H still ate it up, but Skyline looks worryingly like District 9 for dullards.
More exciting was the presentation for Super, directed by James Gunn (the maniac behind Slither and PG Porn) and starring Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler, Nathan Fillion and Ellen Page. Wilson stars as a man whose wife (Tyler) leaves him for a sleazy drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), prompting him to don a homemade superhero costume and attempt to get her back by force. Page is a seemingly bonkers girl who persuades our hero to let her tag along as a Robin-style sidekick. And Fillion is a TV star who plays a superhero – he appears, clad in spandex, in visions to our increasingly unstable hero.
“It’s a very edgy film,” said producer Miranda Bailey. “It’s a dark, violent and underground look at a character trying to make something of his life. “The one thing that is good in his life — his wife — is stolen from him. And he feels like he is fighting evil, in all its forms, to get her back.”
The footage the team unspool is the first glimpse anyone’s had of the film. If it’s an accurate indication of the final product, Super is going to be a truly dark ride – one shocking sequence sees Wilson viciously attack a man who has butted ahead of him at a queue for the cinema. Then his wife. Using a wrench. Liv Tyler also reveals that her character gets hooked on heroin: for one scene the actress actually injected her foot with saline.
Thugh no-one actually drops the ‘K’ word, the movie that immediately springs to mind is Kick-Ass. At one point Gunn mentions that he wrote the script eight years ago – he’s probably kicking himself for not making it earlier as the premise doesn’t feel as fresh as it should. But with a cast this winnngly oddball, hopefully Super will live up to its name.
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Posted on Saturday July 24, 2010, 11:34
How in all of god's glistening creation is it possible that the Brothers Strausse got another job after the steaming ejection of diarrhea that was AVP Reqiuem? Meditate on this, I will
Posted on Wednesday July 28, 2010, 18:11
The Super panel was easily the best thing I saw at Comic-Con, hysterical, edgy and cool. James Gunn's last feature was an under rated classic so we should all anticipate this greatly.