Philippe Lacheau and his friends tackle the universe of costumed vigilantes with Superheroes in spite of himself. A comedy that should appeal to die-hard fans of the Fifi gang and leave everyone else in doubt.
We do not know what to think of the humor of the band at Fifi. If Babysitting had been a very good surprise, dynamiting a little the high-sounding standards of French dad comedy, the second opus followed by Alibi.com had led us to think that the register of Lacheau and co question jokes was struggling to renew itself. Then came Nicky Larson and Cupid’s scent and suddenly all was forgiven. We assume it is the best adaptation of a manga brought to the screen. Certainly, we did not dodge the valves below the belt, but because they stuck to the character and because they did not monopolize the story – which gave pride of place to the references of a generation -, we knew enjoy them, and even openly laugh about them.
Now certain that the director / screenwriter was capable of going beyond the anal stage when he wanted, we rushed into Superheroes despite himself with the idea of finding the same parodic spirit as his Nicky. And given the hegemony of the superhero genre over cinema, there was plenty to do.
Philippe Lacheau plays Cédric, a failed actor who is offered the role of his life by playing the superhero Badman in the cinema. But following an accident, he loses his memory and really thinks he is the vigilante with a dangerous mission to accomplish. For him and his friends, trouble begins…
With great power comes great irresponsibility
Parody is a delicate art that you have to know how to handle with skill, as it requires a great sense of proportion. You have to be able to understand the codes of the genre you are attacking in order to manage to restore them, distort them, then mock them without overdoing it, at the risk of becoming indigestible. You only have to look at the rise and then the disappearance of “Movies” (Scary, Superheroes, etc.) in the early 2000s in the United States to understand that even in the country of fast food, we can end up disgusted.
That’s good, slipping into the reference by swinging the right valve, the right wink at the right time has always been Philippe Lacheau’s strong point. Because he has always shown a deep respect for what he wants to parody, he knows where to press to make people laugh. Superheroes in spite of themselves therefore chain the nice open tackles to Marvel or DC, highlighting some when others want to be more discreet. It often feels like the famous internet meme from Once Upon A Time In Hollywood where Leo points at the screen. In short, a way for “Fifi” to tell us “I know you saw what I wanted to show you”. No problem, we gladly go into the combination!
And then there are also those moments when the humor sublimates to fall into what could make us laugh at the top of the basket of parody comedy like the ZAZ (Y a t’il un cop…). Without describing the scenes, we think in particular of the passage where Alain Belmont (Georges Corraface) wants to return to his dressing room or each time our “hero” wants to camouflage himself in the dark. Whether in terms of timing or staging, Philippe Lacheau is able to shine in the genre.
Band Man and Smallex
And it’s because we know the guy is capable of making the difference in this style of humor that we are all the more frustrated to see that what makes him laugh rarely goes beyond the top of his pants. In Speed, if a bus goes below 80km/h, it explodes. In Super-heroes in spite of him, if there is not a genital joke every 2 minutes, the film explodes. Or at least Philippe Lacheau seems to think so.
So we’re not going to lie to each other, some will have picked us up, but we can’t say if it’s because they want to be better written than their sisters or if it’s the force of wear and tear. At the hundredth, we inevitably end up laughing, at least out of fatigue or nervousness. Let’s not be in bad faith, the discrepancy caused by a few slips at the bottom of the underpants works hard, in particular thanks to the eternal infernal duo Tarek Boudali and Julien Arruti (Élodie Fontan being more in the background). Except that they are drowned in such a very uninterrupted flow that they end up sabotaging each other. As such, we prefer to warn you: do not take your young children there. We were talking about balance previously and on this subject, we are clearly in overdose.
There is therefore frustration in front of Superheroes in spite of himself to see Philippe Lacheau always fall into the easy pee-poo joke as he shows the abilities to fly higher. And because we appreciate the man, we want to believe that he can renew himself. Maybe next time.