The Specials (2000)
June 29, 2024 7:40 PM - Subscribe

America's 7th Best Superhero Team, the Specials, are a group of geeks and oddballs. We get to see one day in their lives as fan and new member Nightbird joins the group, just in time for the group to get a new line of action figures. But the members' extreme personalities and personal issues threaten to rip the group apart.

Written by James Gunn, directed by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl, The Last of Us), and starring Thomas Haden Church, James Gunn, Rob Lowe, Jamie Kennedy, Judy Greer, Sean Gunn, Paget Brewster, Jordan Ladd, Jim Zulevic and Kelly Coffield. Unusual even for a superhero spoof in that there's almost no combat or impressive special effects, with the movie focusing on the heroes' personal lives and interpersonal conflicts.
posted by Halloween Jack (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Rotten Tomatoes gives it 47%. I think that that's low; this is early work by Gunn and therefore kind of rough in places, but actually works pretty well in showing how the superhero business might actually work--it's less doom-mongering than Watchmen and way less gory than The Boys.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:40 PM on June 29

Also, it doesn't seem to be on any regular streaming service; you may find it on pay-to-stream, and someone has it on YouTube (with Portuguese subtitles).
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:42 PM on June 29

I like it quite a bit. Not every joke lands, but it's the kind of grubby sad-sack superhero film that Mystery Men probably should have been. Nothing wrong with MM, it just didn't commit to the pathos of being low-significance super types.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:21 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]

Somewhere back in the 200X era, a friend showed this to me. When I heard that Marvel had hired the guy that made it to do Guardians of the Galaxy, I knew everything was gonna be okay.

Some of the humor has absolutely not aged well, but the “fucked-up family of choice fights, makes up” core is still solid gold.
posted by FallibleHuman at 1:41 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]

It’s “MI-NEWT” Man!!

The biggest laugh I had watching this was when Rob Lowe’s character goes to the corporate superhero group to see the world’s fastest man. I’m not going to spoil what happens, because I can’t do the bit justice through words alone.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:10 PM on June 30

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