Samaritan – 2022

Director Julius Avery
Screenplay Bragi F. Schut
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Javon Walton, Pilou Asbæk, Dascha Polanco, Moises Arias

Samaritan is the kind of superhero flick that reminds one of those made in the ’90s. A plucky young kid who lives on the virge of following his hero or falling in with the bad crowd. The kid, Sam Cleary (Walton) believes that the rumored long deceased superhero Samaritan has been hiding in plain sight as Joe Smith (Stallone), a local garbage man.

Sam and his mother are, like many in Granite City, living in poverty. So he starts doing small time acts of criminality for Cyrus (Asbæk). Cyrus finds the sledge used by Samaritan’s brother Nemesis and begins a reign of terror. This leads him to kidnap Sam to lure Joe Smith into a trap. The result holds one surprise in an otherwise predictable movie.

That there is no new ground broken with this type of film is no great sin. Stallone touches on his Rocky personae enough to pacify those looking for this character’s earnest humility. Even so, there is barely enough of a story or conflict for this to be considered more than a minimial TV movie.

The effects range from minimal to goofy. The characters, aside from Polanco’s single mother of Sam, are rice paper thin. Seeing Stallone battle his inner demons, however, makes this almost worth the watch.

(** out of *****)

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