Movie Review: Samaritan (2022)

Synopsis: Sam, a 13-year-old boy living in an impoverished and crime-ridden city, believes his next-door neighbor, Joe Smith, is really Samaritan, a superhero who is believed to have been killed 25 years ago. When a career criminal wears the mask and carries the powerful weapon used by Samaritan's brother, Nemesis, Sam tries to talk Joe into coming out of his retirement.

Who's in it? The movie stars Sylvester Stallone, Javon "Wanna" WaltonPilou AsbækDascha Polanco and Sophia Tatum.

Review: My wife and I came across this movie yesterday evening and since the trailer made it look somewhat interesting, decided to watch it. I had some doubts about an aging Sylvester Stallone playing a superhero. However, it turned out to better than expected.

The movie was far from perfect. Some of the CGI looked a bit fake and that de-aging thing they did on Stallone in flashbacks made him look more creepy than young. The final battle inside a burning building was also a bit too unrealistic because I could believe someone with superpowers might be able to survive that long but there's no way Sam (Walton) comes out of that alive in real life. Also, the big surprise twist at the end was something I figured out about 30 minutes into the movie.

Despite those things, I thought the overall plot was surprisingly good. I thought the movie seemed like a good cross between Rocky Balboa and Hancock and Stallone does a great job making his character seem believable (and his unusual invulnerability was intriguing). The main villain, Cyrus's (Asbæk) rise to power was also interesting to watch because it wasn't anything that was unrealistic. In fact, I thought this movie did a good job of showing how even "good" kids can get mixed up in crime when they're facing homelessness as an alternative. Plus, the surprise twist I mentioned makes the "heroes" efforts taking on Cyrus's army seem in-character.

My only real complaint about the movie, other than the fire scene I mentioned before, is I don't think Joe ever does truly explain what people get wrong about the battle that supposedly killed Samaritan, just that they are mistaken about Nemesis' motives. If he did explain it, it wasn't a very long explanation, and I probably missed it when I blinked.

Final Opinion: It's not a perfect movie but I thought it was an entertaining one and my wife and I both enjoyed watching it.

My Grade: B-


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