The wife and I are not subscribed to Amazon Prime for the streaming service. We support free delivery. As far as an entertainment outlet goes, Amazon Prime stinks. In fact, maybe it doesn’t stink. Maybe there are some decent TV shows and movies somewhere in that pile. Amazon Prime’s menu is so confusing and unfriendly that I wouldn’t know it.
So this week Amazon Prime came up with something that I think was worth watching, a movie called Samaritan, where Sylvester Stallone plays an aging superhero brought back to the superhero game.
I love feeling like I could finally get my Amazon money’s worth. I love Stallone. I love the concept. It reminds me Logan (2017), which has aged better than anything to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Yes, pedants, I know Logan is technically a Marvel product, but Fox, not Disney, produced it, so you know exactly what I mean, so earn a living.)
Good, Samaritan stinks. It’s a total waste of time, of Stallone, of… and… well, it stinks.
The mythology goes like this and is overexplained during the opening credits: Once upon a time, Samaritan and Nemesis were twin brothers. Both were human but possessed incredible strength and invulnerability. After the people of Granite City panicked, burned down their house, and killed their parents, Samaritan kept trying to do good, but Nemesis went wrong, and Nemesis and Samaritan both died fighting.
Many years have passed. Granite City looks like your typical Democrat-run town. But a 13-year-old boy named Sam (Javon Walton) thinks Samaritan is still alive. Why? No reason other than the plot requires a 13-year-old to believe in it to move the plot.
And wouldn’t you know, the aging garbage man who lives in Sam’s housing project happens to be a Samaritan.
And wouldn’t you know, this aging garbage man exposes his true identity while rescuing Sam from a local gang.
And wouldn’t you know, Sam is embroiled in a local gang leader desperate to take on the role of the new Nemesis.
Nothing works in this movie.
Do you think Sam was raised by an overworked, down-to-earth single mom doing her best? You would be right.
The only service Samaritan performs is one more reminder that we should have appreciated Last Action Hero (1993) much more.
Oh, and there’s a Big Twist at the end, the one I guessed during the opening credits.
The only plus? Samaritan is not awake. Certainly, these days, that’s a big plus. But I’m just not willing to rate a movie on such a curve.
Samaritan the dialogue is never believable, the relationships are not believable, the plot is full of plot-driven holes and coincidences, it tries too hard to be cute, there is no sense of peril in the action too CGI, and why do the bad guys keep shooting Samaritan when they know he’s invulnerable?
Star power means something to me. The power of the stars forgives many. Charles Bronson has never made a bad movie. Why? Because Charles Bronson is in it, duh. And yes, that includes caboblanco (1980), and I have the Blu-ray to prove it. Sylvester Stallone is a national treasure and in extraordinary physical shape for a man of any age, let alone the 74 he was when Samaritan was filmed in 2020. It’s a star of a star, but it’s just not enough.