Wednesday 7 September 2022

Samaritan Review

Samaritan': 'Overlord' Director's Dark Superhero Movie Starring Sylvester  Stallone Arrives in August - Bloody Disgusting
Looking for another non-Marvel/DC superhero flick like The Boys and Invincible? Well, you are in luck because Samaritan was just released on Amazon Prime starring none other than the great Sylvester Stallone. However, you may not be in that much luck with this film if you expect it to be as good as the aforementioned projects. But don’t let that stop you from checking out the latest action flick. Stallone delivers a powerful performance in his latest work as a superhuman known as The Samaritan who was suspected to have been killed along with his archenemy Nemesis many years ago in a gruelling fight that ended with a big fire that seemingly consumed both their lives in the process. Many years later, he still exists and goes under the pseudonym Joe Smith. This is where I was hooked onto the show to see how a superhero past his prime was going to make his inevitable return and get back into action.   
A 13-year-old boy Sam Cleary and his mother struggle to make ends meet in a city that is economically dying with rising unemployment and crimes. Sam gets involved with a gang that pays him some money for his services in robbing convenience stores, which in turn allows him to help his mother pay the rent. While some of the gang members try to attack him out of jealousy, he is then rescued by Joe Smith who showcases super strength and turns out to be his neighbour. Sam believes him to be the late Samaritan and pleads with Joe to train him to defend himself. The scenes shared by Sam and Joe is what further engaged me in this film as it displayed a connection being formed between the two. Something we all yearn for during tough times. 

Samaritan' Review: As a Superhero, Stallone Is Amusing but No Marvel -  Variety

Meanwhile, Cyrus, the leader of the gang that Sam worked for discovers the hammer utilized by Nemesis and proclaims himself as Nemesis II. Sam’s bullies from Cyrus’ gang then orchestrate a hit-and-run on Joe who also reveals he has the powers to self-regenerate from his injuries. A revelation that deepened my intrigue in the character and the direction the story was going in. It also tripled my curiosity to see what other abilities Samaritan would disclose along the way. Unfortunately, that was the last of his few talents to be disclosed by the writers in the movie. 

Eventually Cyrus discovers Sam’s connection to Joe and learns that he was the Samaritan, which leads him to kidnapping Sam and his mother to lure Joe into the power plant where he had last fought Nemesis decades ago. It is at this moment where Joe reveals that he was really Nemesis, and The Samaritan was his brother who had actually died that night and was inspired by him to live a decent man’s life from that moment on. Joe destroys the Nemesis hammer and kills Cyrus while rescuing Sam and then fleeing the scene after the press arrive and question Sam who claims that The Samaritan saved his life. 

Samaritan (2022) - IMDb

While this movie began with a strong start and hooked the audience to what seemed to be a plot that was building to a big conclusion, ended up wasting that potential. For instance, the scene in the end where Joe reveals he was actually the original villain of the story was unnecessary. That twist might have worked on another actor, but this is Sylvester Stallone. A guy who is universally loved by Hollywood fans and is not used to being seen as a baddie on the big screen. Even though he played a somewhat negative roles like gangster Angelo Provalone in Oscar (1991) and a video game villain in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003), there is a reason why many people do not remember or just simply wish to not talk about those films.  While the above-mentioned films were not so memorable, Samaritan might just get away with that for the foreseeable future due to Amazon Prime’s popularity and the success of this film despite its mediocre plot. Also, not to mention, that it tells the tale of a superhero which has been the fad in Hollywood for the last decade and a half. Thanks to that and Stallone’s popularity the movie managed to snag the number 1 spot on the streaming service at the moment.  On the other hand, I personally do not see this film developing a cult following anytime soon even though the title character had an impressive looking costume. This is mainly due to the fact that the outfit was only seen momentarily in two separate scenes throughout the film. Hence, I will be very surprised if I see any cosplayers out there who will decide to suit up as the new controversial hero/villain.  While the film was not entirely disappointing, it did have a sufficient amount of entertainment along the way to give the viewers their money’s worth. Hence, it is something that I do not regret watching at all. It could have done much more towards the end in my opinion and spawned a whole new franchise for the character with a potential sequel, comic books, animated series, video games, etc. In other words, it could have been another John Wick saga of its own. All in all, I would give it a 6.5 out of 10 rating. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my review and hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to share your thoughts on it and the movie if you have already watched it. 

Arthur Kaz


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