Despite a fairly clever premise, "Supervised" is about as bad a film as they come.
Tom Berenger, Beau Bridges and Louis Gossett Jr. are bankable, A-List stars...if this was 1990. That same year, director Steve Barron was an up-and-coming talent, having just helmed the mega-successful blockbuster, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Flash-forward to 2019, and all of the above have pretty much been put out to pasture.
This trajectory also applies to their roles in the new indy (and I do mean indy) film, "Supervised." The premise is actually quite inventive and funny: What happens when superheroes (and super-villains) get old? As imagined in this film, a senior living facility for super-powered old fogies has been established, and that's where we find our aging protagonists.
Maximum Justice (Berenger) - now known as simply "Ray" - was once the world's greatest superhero, who possessed some force-like mind abilities. His former sidekick Shimmy (Bridges) - Now known as "Ted" - is able to teleport while leaving behind a foul-smelling cloud. Black Thunder (Gossett) - Pendle - is still super-fast and demonstrates his abilities on morning "strolls" around the park. Then there is Moonlight (Flanagan) - Madera - a once-sexy diva and the former flame of both Ray and Pendle. Bored, cranky and tired of feeling useless, Ray and his pals uncover a sinister plot that may be hatching right under their noses.
In the "Marvel Age" of film that are currently in, a satire like "Supervised" seems timely and full of potential. Maybe it was bogged down by a limited budget, but the special effects here - while noticeably low-end - are not the problem. The issue is that the script possesses a super-power of its own: The ability to completely suck the life and all comedy out of its entire cast. Much of what happens is excruciatingly unfunny, a barrage of jokes that either miss, or land with a resounding thud.
You can tell that the actors are having fun and not taking any of this seriously, but at the same time you stare at them in pity, knowing that Berenger, Bridges and Gossett deserve much, much better. Sadly, the movie never kicks into another gear, and it becomes a very painful watch.
This is a crude, R-rated farce full of promise, but "Supervised" is one word that doesn't seem to have been applied to the script.
Run Time: 1 hour 26 minutes.
Starring: Tom Berenger, Louis Gossett Jr., Beau Bridges, Fionnula Flanagan, Elya Baskin, John Kavanagh, Fiona Glascott.
Directed by Steve Barron ("Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1990), "Coneheads," "The Adventures of Pinocchio").
"Supervised" is available in limited-release and on VOD on Friday, July 19th, 2019.
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