REVIEW: ‘Super Me’ is an Interesting Premise, With A Failed Romance

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Super Me

Content Warning: Super Me contains a scene dealing with suicide

Super Me is a sci-fi/romance on Netflix starring Talu Wang and Song Jia. Sang Yu(Wang) was once a promising young scriptwriter. But lately, his ability to write has left him. This is due to an unending series of nightmares where he is murdered by a monster. When Yu can’t take it anymore, he makes a discovery. He can escape the dream just before death and bring things back with him—things of immense value. Yu is about to create for himself a whole new life. But could there be a price for what Yu is about to do?

The concept for Super Me seems like one with a solid amount of potential. Unfortunately, this potential is spoiled when the story decides to become a romance movie a third of the way in. Especially since said romance is one of the worst implemented ones I’ve seen in a long time. This poorly executed romance story not only fails in its own right but also deprives the movie of the time to properly explain exactly what is happening to Yu, which leaves this movie’s end as a head-scratching “what just happened” moment. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take it back to the beginning.

As our story opens, Yu is well into his disastrous stretch of not being able to sleep. His writing has ground to a halt. We see him forced to resort to climbing out his window to avoid his landlord due to his lack of work. His one small bright spot is his ritual of getting a snack from a street vendor, plopping down in a chair on the sidewalk, and admiring the owner of the local coffee shop, Hau Er(Jia).

Yu’s dreams grow steadily worse. When he can no longer handle the nightmare’s torment, he decides to take his own life and prepares to jump off the roof of his apartment building. But as he stands upon the precipice, the same street vendor he met earlier calls to him, telling him to wait so he can bring him some food.

Now sitting on the roof, visibly shaken, Yu struggles to eat the stranger’s gift as the stranger attempts to console him. When Yu explains the problem with his dreams to the older man, the man advises him to say, “It’s just a dream,” just before he dies. Maybe that’ll help?

The next time Super Me sees Yu confronted with his nightmare, he does as the older man suggests. Not only does he escape the dream without dying, but he also brings back an ornate sword that his attacker was wielding. He soon learns the sword is incredibly valuable and sees how he can turn his nightmares to his advantage. He uses this new trick throughout the rest of the movie to retrieve and then sell priceless items he acquires as he escapes his dreams. Once he gets himself settled into a newfound life of opulence, he decides it’s time to get the only thing he cares about. That is the coffee shop owner, Hau Er, and this is where the trainwreck of a love story comes in.

It is soon revealed that after seeing Hau sing once years before, Yu has quietly watched her from the shadows, never daring to approach her. Despite never having had an actual conversation with the woman, Yu is convinced that he is madly in love with her. Here is my first big problem with this whole concept.

Between the excused stalker-like habits Yu has developed toward Hau and the fact that he has never even had an actual conversation with her yet is convinced he loves her, this scenario does little for me but highlights how movies can’t seem to stop making terrible things people do in real life and try to make them romantic in fiction. And it gets even worse as he begins to make his clunky gestures toward Hau, and she accepts each act he takes with barely a blink of an eye.

For example, the first time Super Me sees Yu enter Hau’s shop and order a coffee, he inquires about her for sale sign. It turns out the business isn’t doing well, and she’d need over a million dollars to do the updating and fixes she thinks she’d need to get the place competitive. Yu casually walks out to return with the cash loaded into a suitcase. With only the weakest of protests, Hau accepts Yu as a fifty-fifty partner in her business.

Now maybe things are different in other parts of the world, but if a stranger making eyes at me randomly offers me over a million dollars in a suitcase, I’m not getting involved with this person. Nothing good is coming from this. Throughout the movie, Yu continues to shower Hau with ridiculous gifts, which Hau politely accepts.

While the lack of support for Yu’s feelings breaks this romance from the start, it is further drowned by the complete lack of chemistry between Yu and Hau. Even though the dialogue indicates that Hau is growing to return Yu’s affections, the body language always comes across like the actress knows how weird this whole situation is, and she doesn’t like it.

Dotted throughout the romance randomly are sequences of Yu as he continues to plunder his dreamscape. These sequences do little to explain or build out this situation but instead show Yu steadily grow more insufferable as he learns how to dominate this aspect of his world.

By the end of Super Me, Yu’s unabashed wealth has drawn the eye of the wrong people, and a confrontation ensues that takes the already poorly explained concept of his dream world and makes it completely nonsensical.

While the story of Super Me fails across the board, the visual design of Yu’s dream world manages to deliver some interesting moments. As each dream places Yu in a different circumstance, a few compelling situations are created in these moments. Interesting, but not nearly strong enough to make up for the train wreck that the story is.

When all is said and done, Super Me attempts to deliver something unique and romantic. While it somewhat succeeds in the former, its utter failure at the latter destroys what promise this movie garners in its opening scenes.

Super Me is streaming now on Netflix.

 

Super Me
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    Rating - 4/10
4/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Super Me attempts to deliver something unique and romantic. While it somewhat succeeds in the former, its utter failure at the latter destroys what promise this movie garners in its opening scenes.