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‘Supercon’ (review)

Produced by DJ Dodd, Mike Epps,
Ken Gorrell, Susan Correll
Written by Zak Knutson,
Andrew Sipes, Dana Snyder
Directed by Zak Knutson
Starring Ryan Kwanten, Maggie Grace,
Mike Epps, Russell Peters, Brooks Braselman,
Clancy Brown, John Malkovich

 

There’s really nothing like the experience of Comic Con.

Meeting up with like-minded individuals to celebrate a shared love of comics, anime, movies, pop-culture, and more. It’s where cosplay is not only accepted, but praised.

Where nerds are treated like kings and queens, and entertainers and artists are revered as gods.

However, for washed-up TV actor Keith Mahar, conventions are just another reminder of just how miserable his life has become. As a former child star of an 80’s television show, he spends his days failing to make a name for himself.

As a result, his fame and existence has withered to nothing.

To make matters worse, Keith’s former co-star and Supercon’s big ticket draw for the weekend is Adam King — who is a constant reminder of his failure. When Mahar’s close friends working the convention: cartoon voice-over actor Matt, comic book artist Allison, and 80’s TV star Brock, are all banned from the convention by King (thereby losing money in the process), he decides to take action against his rival. In a desperate claim to “take back Supercon for the fans” he, along with his friends, plot to steal King’s Supercon earnings.

The most gripping aspect about Supercon is that it’s based on the possible real events of DragonCon. Supposedly, four guys dressed up as Stormtroopers then walked into the count room and stole a large sum of money. They managed to escape by blending into a parade of marching Stormtroopers. Throughout the years, the story screamed to be made into a movie. The issue is that this isn’t the movie it deserves.

Supercon is a well-intentioned terribly misguided film that manages to fall flat despite having a rather impressive cast… member (John Malkovich). Despite extensive knowledge of the convention scene, writers Andy Sipes, Zak Nutson, and Dana Snyder seem lost when trying to convey the magic of the con experience, the lure of meeting your hero, and the passion of the fans. People whine, the sets are cheap looking, and the costumes are poorly designed. Even with a limited budget, there’s no heart built into the script. As a result, actors are hindered and don’t possess the ability to pull in the audience. Instead they recite their lines and are forced to perform flat slapstick humor as the plot disintegrates before your eyes.

There are small moments where Malkovich shines by simply being himself. However, he is only one man and cannot carry the weight of an entire movie. Ryan Kwanten hasn’t been enjoyable to watch since his role in True Blood, and he still faces the same dilemma. Playing Wheeler, Kwanten once again doesn’t stand out. As the film progresses, he manages to blend into the cast until he’s completely forgettable. Lastly, there’s Mike Epps as Gil Bartell who has the ability to shine with his background in comedy and improv. Unfortunately, he too fails at uplifting this project with his poor attempt at comedy.

Supercon is an unfunny mess, which is disappointing despite its potential. With too many writers working on the script, Supercon is misdirected, discombobulated, and forgettable. The most painful aspect is that it had the ability to be an indie darling beloved by folks Comic Con attendees.

Instead, it doesn’t even deserve to be admitted to any event.

 

Supercon is now playing in theaters and is available on Digital HD.

 

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