‘Samaritan’ Review: “A Unique Superhero Flick”
There have been plenty of stories where we get to see heroes in their prime. Samaritan, meanwhile, stands out by setting its narrative in a post-superhero world. Twenty-five years ago, there was a massive duel between strength-laden individuals Samaritan and Nemesis that allegedly led to their demise. Cut to the present where we follow a young Samaritan fan named Sam Cleary (Javon Walton) as he goes around believing that Samaritan actually survived the battle.
He soon takes a job working for the local gang and impresses the leader Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk) to help keep a roof over their heads. Eventually, he runs into a situation where various gang members try to beat him up. However, his neighbor Joe Smith (Sylvester Stallone) comes in to save his life. The kicker: Joe showcases some superhuman abilities. This leaves Sam convinced he was right, and that Joe is actually Samaritan! Sam immediately latches on to Joe, idolizing him, to the point we find out Samaritan saved his father’s life while they were alive. Cyrus finds out, and being that he is a Nemesis fan, immediately wants to take Joe out.
Samaritan has a lot of heart, and I never knew how much I really needed Stallone to be a grandfather in a film. He’s absolutely the best part, bringing in a lot of the character he’s done so well in the Rocky films, while adding in some of the traditional action he’s stuck to over the years. Walton has had some good roles over the past couple of years, and I think this shows why. The other star in the film is Asbæk, who brings the power he has across Game of Thrones.
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Samaritan‘s biggest problem is its script. Without a doubt, there are situations where Sam feels more like he’s six instead of thirteen. It’s so frustrating to see, because kids, especially teenagers need more credit for their maturity. On top of that, Cyrus is an immensely bland villain. Asbæk is an incredible actor who could have done so much more than what they gave him. The final climactic scene requires a high measure of disbelief to occur as some characters spend far too long in a building fire. Otherwise, they definitely knew how to use the 76-year-old Stallone, and beefed up Joe to fit him the best.
Overall, Samaritan is a well likable film, most notably because of Stallone at the center. Director Julius Avery utilizes him well, especially as an overwhelming force for the betterment of the city. The cast keeps you enveloped, with some good action moments to keep everyone entertained! Despite this, I am firmly settled that I don’t need a sequel. Samaritan is enjoyable, but I think having a sequel just is too much, especially with the script issues. – Katie Rentschler
Samaritan is streaming on Amazon Prime now.
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