Synopsis: In Samaritan, 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’s story sets the action in a poverty-stricken city called Granite in which there is a great deal of nostalgia for a hero called Samaritan and the final fight he had with his villainous brother Nemesis. Much of the movie’s narrative comes from a young boy called Sam who believes that the man that lives in the building opposite where he lives is Samaritan.
However, it isn’t until Sam gets into trouble with some local thugs that the old man called Joe comes to the rescue and exhibits super strength. Obviously, this makes a huge impression on Sam who becomes more determined to prove that Joe is Samaritan. Unfortunately for Sam. His meeting with some of the local thugs and his involvement in a robbery gone wrong makes him a person of interest to local crime boss Cyrus, who is not a fan of Samaritan.
When Cyrus pulls off a number of big crimes claiming to be Samaritan’s arch-enemy Nemesis this begins to get quite interesting as events force Joe to come out of his superhero retirement.
Sylvester Stallone does a solid job of pulling off the moody and aloof character of Joe who until he meets Sam seems to have lived a rather restrictive life with the minimum of social contact outside of his work life as a garbage man. The scenes that Stallone has with Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton who plays the boy Sam have a lot of heart and the two have a really strong chemistry which helps carry the film’s somewhat ramshackle narrative.
Pilou Asbæk makes a good fist of playing the main villain Cyrus but is hindered by the fact that he is just not really that much of an interesting bad guy. Cyrus has seemingly created his own family of villains from having picked up strays to help in his criminal enterprises. One of them is his girlfriend Sil (Sophia Tatum) seems to be the most charismatic of the lot of them. She has some really strong moments. Especially when she is knocking heads and threatening young Sam to deter him from betraying Cyrus.
Samaritan is an okay movie. But is far from great. It takes a few chances with the superhero genre and tries to do something different with it by going into the murkier side of things. Cyrus pretty much nails it when he tells Sam that his hero was nothing more than just another cop knocking the poor and the crooks about to keep order for the rich. Whereas Nemesis was the true hero because he went after people that deserved to be taken down a peg or two. It’s an interesting narrative idea to probe into the motives of a hero and a villain, but the film fails to really get into it. But does have an interesting twist toward the end.
In fact. The film has lots of interesting ideas throughout but ultimately is unable to truly explore them within the time of the movie. One of the problems was the scale of the mythology for the hero and villain was quite clunky and is gradually revealed through dialogue and flashbacks throughout the film.
Overall. Samaritan felt much more like a TV Pilot movie for a series than a movie and would actually make for a good TV series given the many ideas that are presented in the film.
As far as the visuals go. The CGI felt pretty hit-and-miss. Especially in the final fight scenes which take place in a burning building. My guess is that the film’s ambition was perhaps a little too big for its budget. Yet despite these flaws. The film still manages to entertain.
Samaritan is available to stream now through Amazon Video on Prime.
- CGI & Stunts8.0
- Incidental Music7.5