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By Eric Campos | November 21, 2008

I once saw a guy who thought he was Reed Richards due to some major mind altering substances. He tried stretching his wiener, but, no. “Special” brings us a story somewhat similar to this one.

Dick Ritchie…I mean, Michael Rapaport…plays meter maid Les Franken. A timid comic book nerd leading a lonely, irrelevant existence decides to undergo a clinical trial for an experimental anti-depressant drug that’s supposed to completely strip its user of any self-doubt. Dick Ritchie begins taking the drug and, after a few days, finds that not only does he have a major confidence boost, but that he can also levitate. Other superpowers develop as he continues to take the pills. Taking a cue from the comics he reads, he decides to become a superhero, throwing together a shitty costume and going out on the town to fight crime, mostly tackling stick-up men at various convenience stores. His vigilante efforts quickly earn him cult figure status that finds the crime fighter being chased down by the cops, as well as deadly suits from the pharmaceutical company responsible for creating the drug. Dick Ritchie’s life has finally taken on meaning. He’s no longer a dull, unimportant person. But there’s only one problem, the more he uses his superpowers, the more damage his body sustains. Before long, Dick Ritchie is a walking talking abrasion. That’s not very super.

Dick Ritchie rules as Super Dick Ritchie. This is a weird little movie, and it’s an interesting trip accompanying Dick Ritchie on his transformation. It’s a unique look at the average life of a superhero, or is it? Clues are dropped right from the get go that Dick Ritchie may just be hallucinating, instead of developing superpowers. So you and Dick spend a quality ninety minutes together trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. And I emphasize “quality.”

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