The shotgun-satire approach to comedy that David Zucker helped pioneer in Airplane! is a shadow of its former self in this dismal, laugh-free attempt at a satire of superhero flicks. Superhero Movie has a solid enough storyline to hang its gags on, using Spider-Man's premise as a basis for its pseudo-hero and layering in elements from X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other postmodern comic-book flicks. Unfortunately, writer/director Craig Mazin weighs the film down with an endless string of crass, laugh-free gags that make Superhero Movie a numbing experience. It also seldom makes use of inspired comedy setups: for instance, the final battle spills over into a superhero fan convention, but this great setup only rates a few rote gags before Mazin and company move on to a less-inspired finale. Superhero Movie also wastes a great cast; for instance, they get the great Marion Ross to play a parental role and then waste her time with painfully lame gags about senior-citizen sex and flatulence. To make matters worse, the finished film looks as cheap and set-bound as the most threadbare TV productions. In short, this is a dismal experience. Even especially patient and forgiving comedy fans are likely to lose their patience with Superhero Movie.
by Donald Guarisco review