Film Review – Special
Michael Rapaport is a meter guy named Les who is participating in a pharmaceutical study that’s unexplained at the beginning of the film. He is keeping a journal so he can document the effects of this drug. He hangs out in a comic book shop during his breaks at work, even though he knows he’s too old to read comics.
Les thinks the pills are making him levitate, but the doctor who’s in charge of the study thinks Les is just losing his mind. The pills are supposed to suppress self-doubt, as we find out. But Les thinks it has unleashed powers he’s always had inside him: like reading minds, walking through walls, and levitation/flying. But what he really wants to do is fight crime. He begins absolutely laying people out in kwikie marts who he thinks are shoplifting. Hysterical. He struts around the city wearing a spray-painted leather jacket and pants with a logo on the back that says “special”. The logo is from the drug company t-shirt given to him for doing the trial. When he starts becoming a nuisance, the company execs try to bring him in quietly to avoid publicity. He’s freaking out bad at this point. He is still very convinced of his powers, so the drug company has to take him out. You generally feel awful for the guy. Nothing is going right for him, but clearly, in his head, everything is splendid with his new powers. Les is mentally challenged and you cheer him on, in a weird way, but you know he needs serious medical help.
Rapaport is really a good actor in this film. I usually like his stuff, so I’m biased, but, despite the fact he’s not going to win an Oscar for this film, he pulls it off quite well. Enjoyable film, but not a “fun” film by any stretch.
(3 out of 5 fus)