Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

Posted by Joel Copling on June 19, 2014

There's no denying that Shep Gordon is quite the character. He has an infectious, throaty laugh that could fill a room with a blazing kind of happiness. He's the kind of guy with whom you could have a quarrel one minute, while the next he's become both your road manager and heir to all of your personal bequests. He's trustworthy. He has quite the intense work ethic--which, he admits, is probably going to be a regret for those who don't have a life away from their work. Physically, when he was younger, he looked much like 1990s-era "Weird Al" Yankovic; now, he could be Larry David's brother. And he seems to know everyone who's ever been anyone. "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" is far from the documentary this one-of-a-kind guy deserves.

As much as there's no denying that Gordon's bluntly go-getter, nice-guy attitude is probably what made him the progenitor of the modern ideal of "talent manager/agent," there's no denying that actor/comedian Mike Myers, who makes his directorial debut here, has his heart firmly in the right place. This is a series of amusing anecdotes that Gordon himself will likely fawn over. After all, stories of his elbowing with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Anne Murray, the members of the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, and many more musicians (He and Alice Cooper are practically joined at the hip) are legend among the high-end parties held in Hollywood and the wider Los Angeles area. Not to mention his brief stint as a movie producer and the reason that food-network television is even a thing.

Unfortunately, the film in which these anecdotes find themselves greatly smacks of hero-worship on Myers' part. There is little depth into Gordon as a person beyond what his years of service in the industry of making people famous. It resembles, if nothing else, an "E! True Hollywood Story" that managed to be released into theaters for the sake of myriad celebrities who show up to pay tribute to their former or current manager. Only in the final stretch of a remarkably brief do we really enter Gordon's emotional side. Otherwise, "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" only serves to prove that Shep Gordon deserves a documentary (or, even, a biopic in the long line of them) that matches his seemingly unstoppable level of energy--and that this film is not it.

Film Information

A documentary directed by Mike Myers.

Rated R (language, sexual references, nudity, drug use).

85 minutes.

Released in select cities on June 6, 2014.