Written and Directed by Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore
A lonely and depressed meter maid, Les, joins a trial drug study on a whim. The drug produces unexpected results, and Les begins to develop superpowers, such as levitation and telepathy. Seeing this as a calling of sorts, Les quits his job and assumes the life of a crime fighter.
Special could have went many different directions; luckily, it stayed clear of the popular comic book superhero approach and, instead, went for the bittersweet, emotional drama. The directors elect not to keep the audience in the dark, which allows the audience to become further connected to the characters without the worry of some future revelation.
Michael Rapaport (Deep Blue Sea) delivers an excellent and likable performance as Les. Josh Peck (The Wackness) and Robert Baker portray brothers that own a comic book shop that Les frequents. In particular, Peck’s performance was outstanding; until this film, I had only known him as a Disney actor.
Several elements of the film would be recognized as strikes against other films, such as a shakiness present in nearly every shot and somewhat repetitive music and sound effects. While these attributes build onto the character of Special, they limit its potential. This is likely the result of an excellent idea and crew operating on a limited budget.
Special is comical, depressing, and relatable to the audience and is well worth a watch.