Super Lopez – review (Netflix)

The planet of Chitón is under the rule of a tyrannical dictator, General Skorba (Ferran Rañé) with a population of exactly 250 thousand. When Jan Chitón (Gonzalo de Castro) and his wife (Mireia Portas) have a child, they send him to Earth to escape the clutches of Skorba. Jan tells Skorba that when his son grows up, he will come back and free their people.

Skorba’s daughter, Ágata (Teresa Rodriguez_as young Ágata) tells her father she can get him back. She reads the mind of Jan and finds out that they have sent the baby to Earth, the USA. Skorba tells her to pursue him. As she pursues him through the cosmos, they hit a satellite. Baby Chitón is diverted to Spain. Ágata carries on to the USA.

In Spain, baby Chitón crash-lands and is found by Juan (Pedro Casablanc) and Maria Lopez (Gracia Olayo). They take him in and raise him as their own. It is clear from an early age that little Lopez is different. He has super strength, speed, heat vision, and a moustache. Lopez being different gets him ostracised by his peers. Juan tells him to be normal and hide his extraordinary gifts.

Twenty years later, Lopez (Dani Rovira) is working a mundane job, with no one outside of his family knowing he has superpowers. His solitary friend, Jaime (Julián López), who also works with him and is his superior, corners him at work to tell him he has employed a woman he fancies.

I got this!

When the woman turns up, it is Luisa Lanas (Alexandra Jeménez), an old friend of Lopez’s from college. Luisa does not fancy Jaime at all, but she and Lopez do have a spark. They go out to dinner. Lopez gets embarrassed by some college kids whilst they are out in the pizza restaurant.

After the dinner, a bummed out Lopez is waiting for the train and remembering his father telling him to hide his powers, but when a runaway train comes speeding through the station, Lopez decides to do something and saves the train and passengers.

The next day his escapade is all over the news. His moment of heroism also alerts a now grown-up Ágata (Maribel Verdú), who has been searching for him for 30 years. Ágata, who runs a global technology company, contacts her father to inform him that she is about to get Lopez. Skorba remains underwhelmed by her efforts.

Ágata persuades Lopez to meet her and tells him he is an alien from Chitón and they need to return to their home planet. Lopez refuses. Ágata reads his mind and sees that he wants to stay because of Luisa. She has her clones attack him. Lopez escapes. Ágata comes up with a new plan. She has a robot steal Luisa’s DNA so as she can clone her. Jaime destroys the robot and tries to warn Luisa but gets captured by Ágata before he can get to her.

Lopez, who was supposed to be meeting Luisa for dinner, goes to see her to tell her he cannot see her for a bit. Luisa is drunk and angry that he stood her up and that he will not explain why. He tells her he has to go and see his parents, Luisa is not impressed.

Lopez goes and asks his parents for an explanation about his origins. They show him the spacecraft he landed in. When he touches a button, a hologram of his biological father appears and tells him about his destiny and Chitón. He finds out that he should be able to fly as well as the other extraordinary things he can do.

Stay a little while, Dad!

Ágata sends a Luisa clone to try and get Lopez. He defeats the clone and goes to rescue Luisa and Jaime. Skorba is scathing in his disappointment over Ágata’s inability to catch Lopez. Ágata kills her father. She goes after Lopez, Luisa, Jaime, and the parents. Lopez defeats her and sends her back to Chitón. The dictatorship is toppled. The end.

Written by Borja Cobeaga and Diego San José and directed by Javier Ruiz Caldera, Super López is an enjoyably silly film, heavily influenced by the far more famous and well-known son of Krypton. With Dani Rovira in the lead role playing it perfectly straight and the rest of the cast following suit, the film works because everyone does their job, taking the material seriously.

Beautifully shot, the ridiculousness of the plot and premise are balanced out by the good pacing and strong characterisation. The well-known story, courtesy of DC comics, of a humanoid alien coming to Earth in a spaceship and having superpowers, is familiar to most people and as such, is perfect for this gentle comedy, that ribs not only the superhero genre but also its assertion that all superheroes are based in the USA.

At 108 minutes long, Super López is long enough and has enough going on not to overstay its welcome. A Spanish language film, Netflix has the option of both dubbing or subtitles for you to enjoy the film if you are not a Spanish speaker. Not too taxing a watch, Super López is an enjoyable one hundred plus minutes that would not be wasted on Netflix.

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