After the very long period spent under the imaginary yoke built by Marvel / Disney superheroes, unblemished and fearless knights who risk their lives every day to save those of sober citizens, even the world of cinema has opened up to a new vision of these beings with uncontrollable powers, following a plot of rediscovery and rereading that comics – the home planet of almost all the heroes in tights – have already been exploring for decades. The very last period, in particular, saw the arrival of numerous works that aimed to put the great saviors of the planet in a new light, with The Boys which he probably touched the highest peaks of satire and spectacle (find ours here The Boys 3 review).
Once again it is the platform of Amazon Prime Videowhich launched Eric Kripke’s show three years ago, to propose a new story of superheroes struggling with personal problems and mismanaged trauma, because in Samaritan – you can find it among the Prime Video films of August 2022 – Sylvester Stallone becomes an elderly savior called to action after almost thirty years from abandoning the scenes. The film directed by Julius Avery hatches a good potential who seems to want to sip in the prologue and then let it explode in the final stages, but unfortunately turns out to be just yet another obvious and simpleton cinecomic.
The pleasure of anonymity
The legends that swirl around the tragic and mysterious end of Samaritan, which occurred at the hands of his evil twin Nemesis, are now innumerable, which is why many believe that the superhero of Granite City is not dead in the devastating explosion that occurred twenty-five years earlier, even though no one has ever seen him in action since that day. A supporter of the thesis on survival is also little Sam (Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton), who thinks he sees Samaritan in every person who catches the eye for his physical abilities, like a postman who sows an aggressive dog running.
The continuous searches lead him incredibly to discover that the unforgettable superhero is a shy garbage man who lives right in front of him, a man isolated from the world to protect the inhabitants from his own powers, now pleased in his simple life spent fixing antique objects reselling them for a few dollars. While the young admirer forges an emotional bond with the grumpy Samaritan, a criminal has chosen to take back the baton left by his idol Nemesis to carry on. the rebellion against an unjust welfare stateforcing the old savior of the city to stop the plans of revolt to prevent anarchy from breaking out.
Although the prologue of the film immediately shows the weaknesses of a predictable plot, it is precisely in its simplicity that Samaritan might find a nice size.
The fight between the superhero and his nemesis is reflected in the difficulties encountered by young Sam, a shy and basically good boy, but forced to do some dirty work to help his single mother pay the rent, so as to avoid yet another humiliating eviction. Much of the film is in fact dedicated to its young protagonist, keeping the story down but without being boring thanks to Sylvester Stallone’s slow and pleasant introduction to history, with the old superhero adding flashes of action to the plot by digging up his meta-filmic past between Samaritan and a grumpy Rocky Balboa. The comic style frames the work both in the visual rendering, with bright colors and a good use of CGI, and in the musical one, thanks to an omnipresent soundtrack that accompanies the viewer towards the emotions sought by the scenes, making the initial developments pleasant of a film that does not hide its childish spirit.
The structure begins to creak as the main antagonist enters the scene, a Nemesis admirer who wants to revive his antihero methods to lead a crusade against the entire system.
The childish approach that made that initial coming of age enjoyable it does not have the same results when used to describe our society’s flaws, with the film merely hinting at issues such as unemployment, inequality and poverty to justify a class struggle never analyzed with due attention, finally making it a sad parody unable to support all subsequent evolutions. Then begins a long sequence of forcing aimed at channeling the film towards a distinctly action ending that appears out of place – since the rest of the work was characterized by joviality and sporadic action scenes – which demonstrates the enormous technical criticalities that bury the film, with a rather hasty editing that makes the fights confusing if not illegible. It also contributes to the poor success of this component an acting that suddenly becomes agitatedespecially when the young protagonist and the villain on duty are on stage, while Stallone can’t stand his strange role, proving unconvinced of a character who, for no reason, has turned into the caricature of an action-hero.