An excerpt from my script review for Super which will be available 05/08/17:
3.) Quality of Characters
Where one can make the argument that Starlord doesn’t really change in the Guardians movies, the opposite can be said for our hero in Super.
Frank has a definitive, and interesting, character arc before and after he assumes the Crimson Bolt persona.
The story starts off showing us the absolute shitty life he’s had, and then continues into the “present” where he knows he’s losing his wife, Sarah.
To try and counter that, he focuses on the two positive points in his life, in an effort to be more positive?
Marrying Sarah and helping the cops catch a thief.
He’s a weird guy, and that shows up, even after Sarah leaves him, as Frank tries to find her, but is too weak to really stand up to any of the bad guys.
Where does he find his support and motivation? From a Christian themed super hero named, The Holy Avenger.
Frank wants to do some good, and stop these bad men who “stole” Sarah, and are “forcing” her back down a path of sin.
So after he’s “touched by the tip of God” the Crimson Bolt is born.
But a costume does not make a hero, and despite being a masked vigilante, he’s still Frank underneath, weird and unlucky. He gets his ass kicked during his initial outings.
Enter the PIPE (or wrench from the film which a way better signature weapon).
The Crimson Bolt starts sending folks to the hospital, but is misunderstood by the public initially.
Just when things start coming around, Frank goes overboard, taking his vendetta to a lower personal level of punishing line jumpers at a movie theater. That coupled with almost being caught by the police, convinces Frank to retire the Crimson Bolt until…
Another round of “divine” intervention! Yay!
Long story short, he focuses back on his primary objective, which is saving Sarah, and along the way takes on the plucky sidekick, Boltie. (Played by Ellen Page in the film, who is just fantastic!)
And now he’s a damn effective hero, taking out bad guys with everyday weapons and cunning, and although going full dark at the end, he does save Susan for the final transformation…
If you love something, you must set it free.
He realizes “God” didn’t consider Frank the chosen one, but Sarah, who can now live a normal life, fulfilling her true potential of helping others, being a great human being, yadda, yadda, yadda.
The BEST part of his character arc, and better represented in the film, was Frank’s new wall of “best moments.”
He learned to appreciate the smaller things, represented by someone telling him to “have a nice day” or petting a stranger’s friendly dog in the park. Moments didn’t have to be life changing to have a positive effect on his life.
Did he lose Sarah and Libby in the end? Yes, but he still came out the other side a better person.
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