Owen Gleiberman
October 11, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Super

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
95 minutes
performer
Joe Pesci, Ruben Blades, Vincent Gardenia
director
Rod Daniel
distributor
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
author
Sam Simon
genre
Comedy, Drama

We gave it a D-

In sitcoms and campaign ads, in wrestling bouts and movies, the insult — blunt, abrasive, in your face — has become the heartless signature of American culture. The Super, which stars Joe Pesci as a Manhattan slumlord convicted of building-code violations who is forced to become a live-in superintendent in one of his own tenements, is a case in point. The super disses the tenants; the tenants dis the super; the super disses the sexy prosecutor; she disses him back; and so forth. The film doesn’t even take sides. Whoever disses loudest — and cruelest — wins. Pesci, a genius of runty comic menace in GoodFellas, comes closer here to playing all Three Stooges rolled into one. The Super is witless, repetitive, and borderline racist — the sort of inner-city cartoon that depicts minorities as a ”class” instead of simply as people. D-

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