Remembering Ellen Page as Boltie in “Super”

The title of this article starts with “remembering” because Ellen Page’s character of Boltie met an unfortunate ending. And this is a sad fact because many times a superb acting performance is undermined by mediocre writing. In Super, Boltie doesn’t suffer the fate as much as Ellen Page does.

Her character is a combination of superhero fantastic, sadistic, yet all the while finding a way to be funny. Her personal sense of justice may actually appeal to some members of the audience. This opinion is backed up by fact because even though it was a low budget, independent film, it earned a 6.8 rating on IMDB and a 55% approval from Rotten Tomato fans. The critics weren’t big fans of the movie, many put off by the graphic violence and dark theme of the movie.

But this is precisely why Page shines. You might think her character is autistic, but really isn’t. In fact, she is on a mission to do what many of us only think about: exact justice on the many slights we have suffered by people that haunt us for years. In Super she plays a comic book store clerk named Libby who turns into the sidekick of Crimson Bolt who is on a mission to save his wife from herself. We all know that is a formidable task and often a futile one. But Libby-turned-Boltie believes she is up to the task.

She may well be thought of as Psycho Hero, because on the one hand she will pour alcohol on the open wound of her partner-in-crime fighting, then sexually force herself on him. Yet despite her performance, her character is the only one who is cast as (almost) completely believable (other than, which is in direct contrast to all the other characters in the movie. The fact that Page fights through this unfortunate casting position and is fondly remembered by her viewers is proof that she has considerable acting talent.

She portrays her character as a woman who is constantly on an IV of Red Bull. There is no lack of energy in Boltie, and no lack of energy from Page. As quirky as Boltie is, she commands our attention as a sexy superhero sidekick in the likes of Yvonne Craig of the old Batman TV series. Her continuous desire to prove herself worthy to be the sidekick of Crimson Bolt has her doing everything from clumsy cartwheels to acceptable backflips.

This memory of Page as Boltie would not be complete without a word from the critics. A general gripe about the film is that it has little character development. Yet Page’s performance is exactly what makes Boltie so memorable. Actually, the criticism of lack of character development with Libby is an indicator that many people believe acting takes place on the page of words rather than the actions of the actor. Maybe if they watched Boltie’s character rather than closing their eyes to watch the movie, they would see the excellence of the acting.

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