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Friday, September 16, 2022

Samaritan (2022)

I’m not going to lie. When I saw this show up on previews for what was coming to Amazon Prime it got me excited. Of all the action stars from the eighties Stallone has aged the best, or at least still manages to pull off the roles. The dude is in his seventies and still plays a believable badass. That is saying something. Given that he was going to try his hand at a superhero story… well let’s just say I was looking forward to this far more than anything Marvel has been teasing.

Stallone portrays Joe, a garbage man with a secret. Living in a city under siege by a gang led by Cyrus he tries to keep his head down. Cyrus was inspired by a supervillain named Nemesis to create chaos and to take down the government and financial powers that be. The aforementioned supervillain died in a climatic fight with Samaritan, the city’s hero, who also disappeared and was presumed dead. That said many, including a kid named Sam, believe that Samaritan survived and has been hiding. After being saved by Joe and seeing what he can do Sam confronts him and they become friends. Events lead Cyrus to find out that Samaritan is alive, and he decides to use Sam as leverage to finish what his hero Nemesis started. He will bring down the city and kill the hero.

Being that this is such a new movie and one that I think is worth checking out I’m going to be very careful about what I spoil here in the review. I will let you know that there is one big twist that I saw right away. But it didn’t take away from how much fun I had with the movie. I was impressed with the pacing and while we have all seen this sort of story before there is enough action that things never get old. Basically, they keep the interesting stuff coming so you don’t get a chance to overthink what you are watching. The villain, Cyrus, is played decently enough to be memorable, though his henchmen are generic. Stallone does a solid job bringing Joe to the screen. The guy has gotten the “I’m old and tired” reluctant hero down to a science and does that again here. No one does that sort of grizzled old guy character better then him.

The fights are so well done... loved them!
The action sequences are choreographed well and unlike some other superhero flicks Samaritan’s fights feel far more realistic than I would have thought possible. When Joe gets mad, he starts snapping necks and killing the baddies without mercy. This leads to some great bits with a flipped car, some hammer action, and the best shrugging off of bullets that I’ve seen on screen. My personal favorite was him doing away with one of the henchmen by jamming a grenade into his chest and walking away. This also reminded me that he, Stallone, has some decent one liners that made me laugh.

I understand that Samaritan might not be everyone’s cup of tea. As a big fan of Stallone, I’m likely giving the movie a pass on some stuff. For example, the final showdown between Joe and Cyrus falls a bit flat. We get a lot of build up without a lot of payoff. The ending also is a bit confusing as they try and jam a “you have to make the difference” message/lesson as the final takeaway. I don’t think that is setup and would have liked to see it more pronounced throughout the rest of the story. In the end while not a perfect movie I still think that Samaritan is worth a look and can be a good time. 

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

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