The poster for “Samaritan” on Prime Video claims that “the world’s greatest superhero vanished” 25 years ago. Sam (Javon “Wanna” Walton) gives us the Cliffs Notes version of what happened in the movie’s opening narration. Nemesis, the twin brother of Samaritan, was his archenemy. According to Sam, they were “freakishly powerful” as children, and the Granite City people were afraid by their inability to manage their might. Then they locked their family up inside their home and lit it on fire. The twin mutants escaped the fire that killed their parents.
Samaritan was raised to combat crime in the same city where inhabitants burned his parents alive, but Nemesis’ understandable resentment turned him into a bad guy. Since his brother was now the enemy, Nemesis turned a massive hammer into Samaritan’s Kryptonite and put all of his anger for him into it. I am not making this up; yes, I write this review when I am inebriated. I haven’t even gotten to the point where a power plant explosion shatters their sibling rivalry and results in the deaths of both brothers. The opening titles are jam-packed with all of this information. I must commend both the animators who bring it to life and Walton for his passionate reading of these specifics from Bragi F. Schut’s screenplay.It almost passes for a convincing argument that this overblown origin myth should be taken seriously thanks to the bombastic soundtrack by Kevin Kiner and Jed Kurzel. The electrical grid is said to have been destroyed along with the deaths of both protagonists, but Sam informs us he thinks the Samaritan is still alive.
Why does Sam think that? Author Albert Casler’s (Martin Starr) book “Samaritan Lives” has a conspiracy notion that is not explored in the film and for which there is no explanation. Every time Sam witnesses an elderly person exert even the slightest amount of vigour, he continues going to Albert—only to be repeatedly proven wrong. Sam writes stories about Samaritan’s escapades in sketchbooks and spray-paints his insignia on trash cans. Even though his is on his closet door, he has one of those walls you see in conspiracy movies. This paranoid 40-year-old guy is imprisoned in a 13-year-body old’s.
The Granite City itself is even more ludicrous. It resembles the depictions of places Fox News employs to terrify its viewers, with its graffiti, empty lots, and alleys. You almost anticipate Austin Butler’s portrayal of Elvis from the Baz Luhrmann film to go from pay-per-view to Amazon so he may sing “In the Ghetto” while strolling down the street. Sam steals little amounts of money from youngsters who work for the villainous Cyrus (Pilou Asbk) in this area, which is also rife with crime. One of the children has tattoos all over his or her body and braids in rainbow colours. His extreme wickedness makes him appear to have been imported from “Robocop 2.” The way Cyrus feels about Nemesis is similar to how Sam feels about Samaritan, to the point where he wants to imitate Cyrus and destroy Granite City.
When it comes to Samaritan, Joe, the garbage man next door, could be the real deal. You can tell he’s not your typical garbage man because Sylvester Stallone, who plays him, has a grey beard. When he assaults the aforementioned adolescents after they turn against Sam, Joe raises suspicion. When Sam enters Joe’s home and discovers a scrapbook full of news articles about Samaritan, his suspicions are only increased. Additionally, there is the moment in the trailer when Joe is struck by a car being driven by the people he just beat up and his body miraculously mends itself.
“Samaritan” has so many plot holes that it has to proceed more quickly than it does in order to avoid them. Julius Avery, the director, lavishes the screen with blood and gore, yet even that suffers from repetition to the point that doubts resurface. For instance, if Samaritan had international notoriety and everyone was aware of his abilities, why are so many people keep firing at him or attempting to knock him out? And why do the evil guys deploy power-zapping grenades, exactly? In one scenario, a character detonates one without tossing it, which doesn’t blow him up, despite the fact that they allegedly generate enormous explosions. The movie can’t keep its own weaponry straight because it is so bored with itself.
A comparable superhero was portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in “Judge Dredd” 27 years prior. I must admit that I didn’t find that movie to be as horrible as many did. The fact that Stallone was determined to play the part without any comedy at all and kept shouting, “I am the LAW!” amused me a little. In addition, “Judge Dredd” was given the respectable rating of R. So that it may receive the cynically imposed PG-13 rating, “Samaritan” is incredibly violent and even more bloodless. People are pummelling by a guy whose strength should make them explode, are pounded in the head with enormous sledgehammers, and are shot with automatic weapons. The “Expendables 3” also included Stallone escaping from a flaming, falling building, which was considerably more entertaining.