Samaritan (2022)

Samaritan (2022)

Movie Details

Samaritan (2022)
Director: Julius Avery
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton, and Pilou Asbæk
Movie Genre: Action/Fantasy
Release date :26 August 2022
IMDB Rating: 5.7
Languages: English in Canada, and in French in Canada.
Duration: 1h 41m


Samaritan (2022)


Sylvester Stallone already has some experience with superheroes. Although he would probably prefer to forget Judge Dredd, he flashed in the two Guardians of the Galaxy and voiced King Shark in Suicide Squad. So yes, he’s got something behind him, but it’s probably not possible to consider him as someone who focuses on comics and superheroes in any way. And even his new Samaritan is not completely traditional in this respect.

Once upon a time, in Granite City, there lived two brothers who had superhuman strength, could withstand almost nothing, and were able to embark on a career as superheroes. Samaritan went for it, but his brother Nemesis decided to be the villain. And so they sometimes butted heads, and in the end, it turned out that they both died in the explosion of the power plant. Today, the whole town remembers them because the Samaritan was a symbol of better times and hope, and the people of Granite City are slowly coming around to it. Unemployment is on the rise, dangerous gangs rule the streets, and thirteen-year-old Sam lives with his mother in a neighborhood where you’d be afraid to go outside after dark. But it is he who reveals that the elderly, taciturn garbageman is hiding a big secret from the world. And that the Samaritan might not have died years ago.

The subject itself, although not very original, I think is quite nice and with Sylvester Stallone in the main role is great. Trailers have indicated that Sly and director Julius Avery want to approach this not-quite-superhero material a bit like Rocky or Rocky Balboa, respectively. We spend a lot of time here with the hero, who has already lost his illusions, and his optimism, but he has enough wisdom up his sleeve to teach his little friend how life works and that even if it can sometimes hurt, it’s worth it stand on the side of the worthy. Sometimes he even gives him a lesson in battles, and considering that the minions of the semi-crazy Cyrus, who has decided to consider a supervillain named Nemesis as a hero, are roaming around, you can kind of guess that it’s all heading towards one big confrontation. And that the Samaritan will once again have to show that he is a hero…

The lack of originality and new ideas wouldn’t bother me in the least at Samaritan. After all, he was spinning for the old-timers. Avery seems to be trying to create the atmosphere of cities from the seventies and eighties. There is a mess, dirt everywhere, older beat-up cars drive on the streets and you have the feeling that Rocky is running a few blocks away or some 80s action hero is showing great police brutality. The fact that, in terms of scale, it is no glory and we are moving in a rather small and almost “serial” space, since the budget was not one of the highest, does not matter. The atmosphere is refreshing and wise or fighting Sly still has it at his age. Well, it’s not glory anymore.

With the progressing footage, it looks as if the creators don’t know what they want to tell and especially to whom. If the director is to blame, or if it went wrong in the editing room, or if Stallone started talking too much from the position of producer (he likes to do that), I don’t want to theorize about that here. However, the fact remains that the behavior of the heroes does not make sense, and as far as logic is concerned, the whole Samaritan seems very naive. It takes place in a world where cell phones only exist in maybe one single scene and when a pensioner gets hit by a car, no one notices… However, a much bigger problem is that the characters’ characters and the tone of several scenes change practically in a second. All it takes is a single cut to turn the wise, calm-talking Samaritan into an aggressively yelling old man for no reason. In twenty seconds, the child hero manages to turn from a confident young man to an emotional wreck and back again, and the more often these things happen (and they happen quite often), the more the whole Samaritan falls apart into an elusive result balancing between sympathetically naive fairy tale, social drama, a tribute to Rocky, an action movie, and oh my gosh. It’s as if even the creators themselves didn’t know what they should get out of it in the end.

The final event is unexpectedly spectacular and somewhat surprisingly offers some very cool ideas, especially in battles and using the surrounding environment, but when it started I was pretty tired of the whole Samaritan thing. Sylvester Stallone is still good, Avery has a few ideas, but overall it’s an unexpectedly poorly told film that is searching for what and for whom it should be until the end. Unfortunately, he finds nothing and just kind of flops most of the time between unoriginality, boredom, and the inability to find his face.

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