So Sly is back in Samaritan which is now streaming on Amazon. I was finding it hard to find anything decent to watch across multiple platforms, so I thought I would give it a watch. Here’s my review.
You may have seen the trailer for Samaritan on the site recently and it pretty much covers the story:
A young boy learns that a superhero who was thought to have gone missing after an epic battle twenty years ago may in fact still be around.
The movie stars Stallone, Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton, Pilou Asbæk, Dascha Polanco, Sophia Tatum, Martin Starr, Moises Arias, and Jard Odrick.
It’s directed by Julius Avery, known for Son of a Gun and Overlord, and the upcoming The Pope’s Exorcist. The writer is Bragi F. Schut, known for Escape Room and its sequel, and the Ninjago TV series.
In the opening credits of the movie we have a Sin City-style tale about how there were two brothers born with superpowers who had to watch their family die. One of the brothers became a force for good, to help people, and the other turned bad. They became known as the Samaritan and Nemesis.
We learn that Nemesis built a hammer that he could use to destroy Samaritan, but in their final battle Samaritan saved the day, Nemesis was defeated and died. They both fell into legend and the Samaritan just seemed to disappear. He was also presumed dead.
25 years later, in the present day, a young boy called Sam gets caught up with the wrong crowd. He ends up impressing Cyrus, the leader of a local gang. Cyrus kind of adopts him and takes him under his wing. At the same time he finds the legendary hammer and sets himself up as a new Nemesis.
Sam gets beaten up by some of the other gang members but is saved by Joe, who seems to have super strength. Sam believes that Joe is the Samaritan. That’s all in the first act, so I won’t spoil the rest.
The story is pretty good. I enjoyed following the characters and was pleasantly surprised by the movie’s end. I liked the conflict with Sam making new friends, but the wrong kind of friends, and the conflict he has inside him looking up to Joe.
There are some downsides with the movie. Sam, played by Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton, is mixed. There are times he is good, but there are also times his acting is either just bad or annoying and it takes you out of the movie for a while. This was a real shame.
The rest of the cast is great. Sly plays a grizzled old man who just wants to be left alone but also craves attention from someone… anyone. Cyrus, played by Pilou Asbæk, is kind of miscast but he’s only ever going to be the bad guy because he has that look. He does do “bad” well.
The direction does what it needs to do. I wouldn’t say it is outstanding, but it is competently done and the action is handled well and is exciting.
I know at the moment superheroes are getting a little annoying, they are everywhere. This wasn’t really a big superhero movie. Yes, there is a guy with superpowers, but it’s not all that it is about. This feels like it understands an audience that the makers know are bored of the genre. The audience is much like Joe, the Samaritan, himself.
It’s not a perfect movie, but I did enjoy it. It felt like an 80s action flick with a couple of good one-liners delivered around some kills.
Samaritan gets a 3.5 out of 5 from me. It was better than I expected with a decent story, but just had a couple of things that let it down. Overall it’s a good action movie.