Spaghetti Man (2016)
Director: Mark Potts
Starring: Ben Crutcher, Winston Carter, Brand Rackley, Leigh Wulff, Joe LoCicero
“Drink that spaghetti pee.”
The self serving lead character of Spaghettiman is middle aged slacker Clark. He could be 20, he could be 40. He represents a mind-set more than an age. After gaining powers when his (or rather his friends) microwave malfunctions nuking a bowl of spaghetti, Clark, played by Ben Crutcher, gains the power of spaghetti. He pees spaghetti, he bleeds spaghetti, and he can sling spaghetti from his hands fast enough to disarm villains. His roommate and sole friend Dale (Winston Carter) thinks Clark should become a true hero, doing what’s right for the good of the city. Instead Clark uses his newfound superpowers to make cash. He saves people from muggings and purse-snatchings then demands a reward in the form of whatever they have in their wallet. Frustrated with Clark’s attitude Dale takes it upon himself to make Clark the hero he thinks Spaghetti Man should be.
A wonderful dismantling of superheroes and their mythos. Truly a slacker hero for our time. Or at least the one we deserve. Spaghetti Man is perhaps one of the best superhero films since The Specials. Yes the effects are cheap. Yes the acting is uneven. But the story of what a person with a broken moral compass and a stupid superpower would do is real and funny and kind of dumb.
In terms of superheroes bigger isn’t always better. What is missing from most superhero films is basic humanity. And not the noble sort of “greater good” humanity. I’m talking about the rest of us who are lazy and cowardly and would use our powers to make a quick buck so we wouldn’t have to go out and get a real job. Those of us whose idea of a good disguise would just be a paper bag over our head and who wouldn’t say no to a free meal. That’s the genius of Spaghetti Man. The everyman, or very substandard everyman given something slightly extraordinary and carrying on as usual.
So, the plot, concept, and even the script are great. But the acting is where things stumble. Everyone is just a little flat and it feels like there wasn’t much rehearsal time. The acting gets a bit better once you settle into the movie and the plot takes over. But the first few scenes are rough. At first I thought I’d made a terrible mistake watching Spaghetti Man, but it got better the longer I stayed. Sadly it would have been a stellar film if only the acting could have kept up with such a well written script. However everything else is enjoyable enough that in this rare instance the acting can be ignored.
Fans of superheroes will enjoy the post-modern take-down of superheroes films and people who hate superhero movies might like this smaller, closer, slice-of-life film.
Kudos for: Spaghetti slinging action
Lesson learned: Spaghetti is as dangerous as it is tasty