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"How do you get to be a Special? You go to a special school." The jibes one endures when a part of the "sixth or seventh best superhero team in the world." The Strobe (Thomas Haden Church) has become vain and self-absorbed, his frustrated wife Ms. Indestructible (Paget Brewster) has gone looking for love in the arms of the Weevil (Rob Lowe), and sex-mad, blue-faced punk Amok (Jamie Kennedy) is getting bored with being a good guy and longs for his supervillain days, when he could sneak a cigarette without publicity fallout. The team is like a bored group of kids stuck indoors on a rainy day, and inaction and frustration has led to backbiting, infighting, love affairs, and long-held grudges. The hilariously disastrous unveiling of their action figures (with such absurd accessories as "a giant meat thermometer") is the final straw: the Specials are no more.
On the surface The Specials looks like a sitcom version of Mystery Men with a droller sense of humor ("Remember the time we caught and drained the Blister?"). The sly script drops the misfit bunch into a suburban world where superheroes are just another part of the media and marketing landscape. First-time director Craig Mazin is a little clumsy putting it all together and perhaps too effectively captures the bland, everyday-ness of the setting, but he tweaks familiar clichés with straight-faced absurdity. The underplayed performances and deadpan gags soon catch up to the concept, and by the end it emerges as the funniest, smartest superhero parody in ages. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
one guy gave this film a 1, wich i do not agree with at all. from reading the review, it seems to me that this person was looking for an 'eye candy' movie, which, usually superhero movies are predisposed to being, but this film is entirely driven by the characters. the movie would have been fine without the 2 min of effects at the end, and i was suprized to see them, they did in fact look better than the production value of the rest of the film suggested, very likely that is where a good hunk of the films budget went.
it is realy tempting to give this movie more than 4, but i dont think it deserves 5.
i am a fan of Thomas Hadden Church, and though this is not one of his best roles, fans of him, or the other actors will like this movie
However, all is not well behind the scenes - jealousies, relations, and a desire to not be so behind the superhero curve mean this is a rather dysfunctional superhero family. It's Spinal Tap meets the Mystery Men as this band of second-string superheroes vainly tries to be something when their worst enemies are themselves.
This is an odd, but engaging film, done on an extremely low budget. It's not the best edited, there's points in the scripting that seem poorly handled or slapped on. Much as the heroes it portrays, it's a low-level film trying to do its best.
Overall, it works. In some cases, surprisingly well. Seeing a disgruntled superhero debating going back to the supervillany of his youth is a wonderful touch.
This film is not for everyone - its strange, sometimes crude, and chaotic. If you're a fan of the Mystery Men, Doom Patrol, and comics about the weirdoes, and like your humor with a sharper edge, this may be for you. This is a cult hit waiting to happen.
I briefly heard about this movie late last year in radio promos. Even then it had sounded interesting. However, when it opened in Manhattan I was sure it would come to my town, but then it was gone. I felt cheated and rightfully so. This is a damn good movie. Now I have to warn you this is not an action movie, there is now spectacular effects, it is about these people, these superheroes lives. Having said that, the movie is a marvel of independant film making. The script shines and the characters remain true to themselves as they would in any good drama, and this, for all intents and purposes is a superhero drama. I found myself enjoying these character's company, and wondered what their lives would be like after the film faded to black. If you are a fan of any of the actor's or if you even remotely like comic books you must check this movie out.
I know what you are saying, been there done that with Mystery Men, That movie left me very disappointed, this one made up for that disappointment.
Most recent customer reviews
For anybody just becoming a fan of Thomas Haden Church, I'd advise you to see this movie.
This is Thomas at his best (also, it was before his brunette period! Read more
I picked up the specials looking to see some heroics or comedy or drama. What I got was a load of trash. Read morePublished on March 4 2002 by Amazon Customer
Don't get me wrong Mystery Men was good... But this movie (the Specials) Is GREAT! I was laughing the whole way through and just enjoying the fun original script and simply Superb... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2002 by Lukey20
A nice little 'cult' film. It is a more deadpan and less goofy version of "Mystery Men", which was funny, but never really lived up to its potential. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2002
Superheroes that never use their powers are not actually superheroes. Instead, they are pretty much just regular people with regular problems, which makes this movie extremely... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2001 by Tim Barkow
The Specials is proof positive that large budgets do nothing but stifle creative freedom. Monty Pythons Holy Grail and Life of Brian were great movies because they didn't have any... Read morePublished on June 15 2001 by James B.
This isn't a film for everyone: if you grew up reading comic books and you like Spinal Tap or the underplayed style of British humor, you'll laugh your tuckus off. Read morePublished on June 11 2001 by Tevis Fen-Kortiay
I found this movie by accident at a local rental shop and after I watched it I decided I had to own it. Read morePublished on May 20 2001 by Sean D. Kelly