Samaritan, based on the Mythos Comics comic book series of the same name, premiered on Amazon Prime on August 26. The deafening failure shows what comic book movies were like 20 years ago.
Directed by Julius Avery. In 2008, he won the Cannes Film Festival prize for the short film Gasoline, but then something went wrong. Avery released only two films: the unnoticed “Young Blood” and a very peculiar “Overlord” about Nazi zombies.
Bragy F. Shute became the screenwriter – he worked on “LEGO Ninjago”, “Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu” and two parts of the horror ” Claustrophobes “. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Javon Walton (Ashtray from Euphoria) and Pila Asbeck (Euron Greyjoy from Game of Thrones).
The film begins with a backstory. Two brothers, Samaritan and Nemesis, had superpowers. When they were children, out of envy, the townspeople burned down their house along with their parents. Since then, Nemesis began to take revenge on people, and Samaritan to help them – they look at the world so differently. One day, the brothers got into a fight at a power plant and died.
Decades later, the head of the criminal gang, Cyrus, dreams of becoming the new Nemesis. He finds the villain’s mask and hammer and is about to plunge the world into darkness and chaos. The media is trumpeting that the same Nemesis has returned. Only the Samaritan can stop him – many residents believe that he is alive. So does 13-year-old Sam, who meets a neighbor who is too strong.
The beginning of the film hints at failure
Already by the 15th minute the film shows all its problems, in the future they only get worse. The audio story at the beginning of “Samaritan” is accompanied by comic book -style animation that is simply awful in quality. In three minutes, a large and very pathos background is set out, from which all subsequent events of the film can be deduced. Then we get to “our time”.
13-year-old Sam believes Samaritan is alive. The teenager looks for him everywhere and is very surprised when he sees him in the house opposite – yes, he just lives nearby and works as a scavenger. Pretty quickly, we learn that the Samaritan constantly leaves something like graffiti – a personal logo. He does this when he first meets Sam. Why there was not a single graffiti near the Samaritan’s house before is a mystery.
The film gets even worse when the forces of evil appear on the screen. There is a gang of Cyrus – a district-scale villain who wants to plunge the whole world into chaos. The most stupid and cruel teenagers obey him. They look especially strange against the background of the tasks that Cyrus sets – as if the “dirty” from the animated series ” Catdog ” are going to arrange the end of the world.
Cyrus, the leader of the gang, is played by Pila Asbek. He is best known for his role as Euron Greyjoy, Theon’s brother in Game of Thrones. In the series, the actor was creepy, in “Samaritan” he constantly grimace – bulging his eyes, twirling his tongue in all directions. The result was a cardboard and uninteresting villain. In the course of the film, it turns out that he doesn’t even have a backstory, so you shouldn’t blame the actor – they just didn’t give him a character.
The background for events also looks unconvincing. The city in which the heroes live is like a big garbage dump: rubbish is scattered everywhere, which, as it were, indicates a decline. TV talks about layoffs and the crisis. But all this is done so on the knee that it is impossible to sympathize with what is happening. If they had played the caption “Everything is very bad, people are sad” instead of city shots, there would have been no difference.
Children’s fantasies come to the fore
Sometimes the script looks like a high school fantasy about “I wish I had a superhero friend.” Tired of life, the Samaritan does not immediately make contact with Sam, but over time becomes more talkative. Then he starts boasting about how many cars he can jump over and how many enemies he defeated in one battle. He also eats ice cream after fights to cool down his body. The only thing missing is playing consoles and riding a skateboard.
And Sam has never been to school in the film, although he walks with a backpack. Perhaps any child, if asked to write a script, will not include school in it.
In one of the scenes, the Samaritan throws the enemy and says: “Fly.” He flies, bizarrely rotating. Looks silly, but not for a child.
At the very end, an “unexpected” plot twist is hidden, which was read from the fourth minute. Only the one for whom “Samaritan” will be the first film in his life will not guess it. But the scriptwriters liked the turn so much that they decided not to surprise the audience in any way in the course of the action. Therefore, for 80 minutes it is possible to predict not only every next step of the heroes, but even their replicas.
Power plants are becoming increasingly important
The film constantly tries to explain the importance of power plants. The battle of the Samaritan and Nemesis, the meetings of the villains, the final battle – everything happens right there.
According to the logic of the film, this is not an infrastructure object, but a deterrent for the population. Nemesis is going to throw the world into chaos by blowing up power plants.
So what? As soon as the lights are turned off, you have to go out to smash the windows. If the light bulb burns out, rob the stall.
Strangely, in Samaritan, people really go berserk because of the power outage. The movie doesn’t explain why.
There is a feeling that the authors cannot decide on the scale of the catastrophe that the forces of evil have conceived. On the one hand, they show a city mired in problems, like Gotham City . On the other hand, they want to show the impending catastrophe of a universal scale, which the Samaritan stops. Throwing leads to the notorious power plant, exalted as if a lot depends on it. In one of the scenes, Nemesis’ henchmen say that they will leave almost all of America without electricity if they blow up this very object.
Tired Stallone refuses to play
Sylvester Stallone is almost a genius in his refusal to act. Literally in every scene with him, the viewer sees an elderly man who wants the shooting to end. He occasionally lazily shows some emotions. In one of the scenes, he should get very angry – and he overacts so much that it becomes funny.
A couple of years ago, Stallone posted a video of his wife calling him right on the set of Samaritan. It turned out, as it were, funny, but after watching the film, one gets the impression that the spouses were on the speakerphone throughout the filming – Stallone does not care what is happening around.
Another problem with the actor is that he is too slow for his character. Samaritan scatters enemies and jumps over nine cars (by his own admission), but at the same time dragging his feet with difficulty. Sylvester is 76 years old, it is hard for him to rush around the frame, and he was not even helped with the help of graphics.
In the scenes where Samaritan shows strength, we are watching two different films. In the first, Stallone moves slowly, in the second, everything flies and explodes. It was not possible to connect these two worlds. Imagine a video of a cat waving its paw and blowing up a house, just like the fights in Samaritan look like.
Small mistakes spoil the viewing experience
The film cannot boast of an unusual plot or bright characters. The elaborated details could, if not save the movie, then at least smooth out the negative emotions from viewing. But they exacerbate the problems.
Samaritan is constantly watching the news, this is shown in every scene where he is at home. But the “return of Nemesis” takes him by surprise. The character learns that the villain and his henchmen began to plunder the city only after 2 weeks.
In some scenes in some films, lightning and rain are used to create horror, a cheap and old, but sometimes effective trick. The Samaritan went further. When Sam breaks into the superhero neighbor’s apartment and examines things, we hear rain and thunder, but it’s not even cloudy outside – we see this in the window caught in the frame.
The film is reminiscent of 00s comics
Samaritan is a superhero movie set in the noughties, before the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is reminiscent of Hulk and Daredevil from 2003, The Punisher from 2004. It takes you back to the times when the viewer is watching a comic book movie and knows nothing about either the main character or the secondary characters. This is neither a plus nor a minus, but rather a reminder of how the industry has changed .
Bottom line, “Samaritan” is a very bad movie that is a pleasure to watch. This is the case when the place of a failed drama is taken by a comedy. Everything that happens on the screen is funny. And even Stallone, with a stone face, reacting to the remarks of other characters, begins to amuse. But this is an option for those who like to laugh at Ed Wood movies.
If you take “Samaritan” seriously, then watching it is unbearable and painful. The plot is as predictable as possible, there are no spectacular scenes, and minor flaws by the end of the film add up to a whole collection of nonsense.
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