Friday, 25 July 2014


A frothy documentary, full of humour and pep, but devoid of any particular incisiveness at any time, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon paints a picture of a man that all involved with the creation of it would likely herald as a definitive account of his life. Like Shep Gordon, it overlooks the whys and often the whats, and concentrates on the whom, which is fun and engaging for a time. As a film, it's basically just a roster of famous names and faces, like the list of Gordon's clients before the end credits, like a big, colourful sign reading "LOOK AT HOW SUCCESSFUL I AM!", with no depth, no subtext, no reasons. One feels there were no questions asked either - we hear of Gordon being described, fairly convincingly too, as an exceedingly pleasant man, but there are aspects to his character that go wholly unexplored yet lodge themselves in the minds of the more attentive viewers: the evidence suggests he's a vacuous misogynist, but that's of no consequence to Mike Myers' film, alas. Maybe that capacity for vacuousness exists in all of us, though. It certainly exists in me, as I find that a retro soundtrack and a barrage of celebrity contributions is more than enough to appease me, at least for an hour or so. Supermensch takes on the character of the ultimate rock bio-doc, ticking off boxes of requisite markers in the genre with a combination of gusto and haste. It's as high-octane as documentaries get, but that haste results in only intriguing us, rather than involving us - we want to learn more, but aren't afforded the opportunity to do so.  And the fast pace becomes tiring, meaning that the film feels considerably longer than its mere 85 minutes. Supermensch leaves you feeling curious, but not fascinated, like you suppose you ought to feel.