Director Akin Omotoso brings a heartwarming true-life tale to Disney+ in the winning basketball drama Rise. Audiences have never seen a story like that of the Antetokounmpos. After emigrating from Nigeria to Greece, Charles and Vera Antetokounmpo (Dayo Okeniyi and Yetide Badaki, respectively) struggled to survive and provide for their five children while living under the daily threat of deportation.
Vulgar humor gravitates throughout Super Cool
Following a stint in the world of television, director Teppo Airaksinen makes a return to features in Vertical Entertainment’s Supercool. High school nerds Neil (Jake Short) and Gilbert’s (Miles J. Harvey) lifelong friendship is tested when Neil’s wish to transform into a handsome ‘cool’ guy comes true. When Neil wakes up with the face and body of a model, he sets out on his quest to impress the girl of his dreams, Summer (Madison Davenport), at her raging house party. With the help of a suave neighbor, Jimmy (Damon Wayans Jr.), and a brand-new Porsche, Neil and Gilbert embark on an epic night that spins wildly out of control, pushing the limits of beauty, brains, and what’s truly important–friendship.
Growing up as a child in the eighties, the films geared toward a teenage audience were almost a weekly staple. Whether in the theater or the direct to VHS route, early films like Porky’s, The Last American Virgin, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High would set a standard that John Hughes would later perfect. While the genre would eventually die down, it would see a resurgence in the late nineties. In my mid-twenties, Superbad would arrive and give even more life to the genre.
Olli Haikka’s script, for the most part, follows the Superbad template with a bit of a twist. The film is vulgar and features tons of jokes about male genitals. However, at its core, what makes the film work is the relationship between nerds Neil (Jake Short) and Gilbert (Miles J. Harvey). Short and Harvey’s friendship is genuine as they have natural chemistry.
Harvey has the bulk of the one-liners, but the script never turns him into a stereotypical character. Short portrays Neil as a loser you want to root for despite his socially awkward behavior. The always-enjoyable Damon Wayans Jr. is also a hoot stealing every scene he is in. Finally, I commend the producers for the handling of Summer’s character. Madison Davenport brings a few extra layers to the character and keeps her likable for the film’s duration.
Supercool avoids overstaying its welcome with a short run time and sticks to its standard premise. The film never reaches the iconic status of the movies that it draws from inspirations. Nor does it warrant repeat viewings. However, for a quick ninety-minute time waster, Supercool is worth a view.
Supercool is available to stream now.
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