He certainly IS special, that's for certain.
"He's not your ordinary superhero."

Welcome to another week at The Tagline! Today I'm going to be talking about Special, a movie made in 2007 and part of the growing genre of movies about delusional people who think they are superheroes/have superpowers/get seriously injured. The interesting thing about entries into that genre is that they all tend to put a different spin on the idea. Is it a mostly funny thing, that turns out sort of okay? Is it a social commentary, on the desperate plight of the modern man? Or is it the single most depressing thing I watched all week? In the case of Special, we are looking at door number three. Special is about a guy named Les (Mike Rapaport) a meter maid who is picked by a corporation for a trial of an experimental drug that seems like its for anti-depression or something. What actually happens is Les starts to trip balls, and is convinced he can levitate, and read people's minds, and an increasing host of other delusional beliefs. The company's owners, a pair of brothers, become increasingly concerned over the well being of their own sorry asses, and being sued by Les, though Les is obviously not thinking about that because he's too busy running at full speed into solid walls (because he thinks he can go through walls).

He gets beat up real bad. REAL bad.
So as the movie progresses, Les goes increasingly off the rails. He becomes convinced that the 'suits' following him are trying to kill him or take his powers away, as he was warned by his future self (future hallucination self). Admittedly, Les IS being stalked by two businessmen, because they're concerned their deal to sell their company will be jeopardized by news that one of their experimental drugs is responsible for a crazy guy's tackling spree in convenience stores. Les' antics become the increasing concern of his only two friends, brothers Joey and Everett, who (perhaps unsurprisingly) own a comic book shop. Despite everyone's attempts to stop Les from continuing to jump people and hurt himself, the situation gets increasingly out of hand.

This is not happening, I repeat, this is NOT happening.
As I suggested at the beginning of the post, this movie is a pretty significant downer. For starters, Les leads a totally sad life, even by my generous standards. We get the impression immediately that he's a nice guy, and that life is stepping all over him. It is worse that we have to watch him destroy what little life he has, and know that when he eventually gets a grip, he will have a lot of nothing to go back to. Right after I finished the movie I felt  really bummed out. I just couldn't see any bright side to the movie. Then I stopped to think about the ending some more, and realized that the ending wasn't AS depressing as I first thought. While Les might not have special powers, and while he realizes that he is not special, he also comes to the decision that other people can't control him, and he seems to come to terms with the circumstances of his life (at the very least I'm choosing to think he did). Also he seemed to catch the fancy of the stuttering check-out girl he saved from a robber, despite the fact that he was going 100% looney toony. So that's an upside right?

He has a fine career in the invisible Olympics ahead of him.
It's a nice short film, straight to the point, and it did a good job of making me feel for this hapless average Joe gone kinda nuts. This is another film on the Netflix (they should probably be paying me for all the advertising I do for them) so if you have that service, I think this is a an hour and a half well spent. That's it for today! Join me again on Thursday, for more cinema gold! By which I mean something terrible maybe.

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