I don’t know if you caught this over at io9, but Max Landis’ drunken, half-crazed retelling of the saga of “The Death and Return of Superman” was the funniest thing I saw last weekend.
Landis, whose father is director John Landis, sits in a chair while drinking whiskey and retelling the saga of DC comics’ early ’90s murder-and-eventual-revival of Superman. He alternates between gleeful rage, face-burying disbelief and unfocused yelling.
“Nobody gives a f**k about Superman,” begins Landis. “You don’t give a f**k about Superman, even if you think you do. What’s special about him? That he was the first superhero, that’s it.”
And with that, Landis and a bunch of people who I have to assume are his actor friends go on a 15-minute gonzo reenactment of the birth of Doomsday, and the dumbassed punching contest that led to Superman’s death, the reign of the Supermen, and the eventual return of the newly enfollicled Man of Steel.
Plenty of great cameos ensue, from Elijah Wood to Simon Pegg to Mandy Moore, whose husband, songwriter Ryan Adams, we just learned is apparently a Skyrim fan.
God, I remember when these comics came out. It really was a big deal. I wasn’t that old, nor was I particularly into Superman, but even I knew the whole thing was kinda bullshit. I don’t know how many facts Landis has right here vs. how many he gets wrong, but I do know enough to know that’s not really the point — it’s really just very funny.
- The look Superman gives the camera.
- Superman: “How hard did I punch him did I punch him pretty hard?”
- Mandy Moore’s anguished “Noooooo!” over Superman’s body.
- The new version of Five for Fighting’s painfully cloying piano ballad “Superman.”
- Everything about Green Lantern.
- Everything about John Henry Irons: “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”
- And actually, the lesson at the end about comic book death. I’m not sure if Superman really did break comic book death, but it does seem as though death has gotten fairly silly in comics over the last 10 or so years, to the point that whenever publishers talk up a character’s Big! Shocking! Death! everyone pretty much knows it will mean nothing.
Anyhow, if you haven’t seen it yet, enjoy.