Title – Samaritan (2022)
Director – Julius Avery (Overlord)
Cast – Sylvester Stallone, Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton, Pilou Asbæk
Plot – The long lost hero of the troubled Granite City known as Samaritan may still be alive after long being presumed dead, with young boy Sam Cleary (Walton) suspecting his reclusive neighbour Joe (Stallone) may be the beloved figure of justice and peace.
“You know what bothers me? What really depresses me? Being around other people”
Review by Eddie on 12/09/2022
A project that feels like it has been a long time coming, personally I had fairly high hopes for Australian director Julius Avery’s fresh take on the well-worn and tiresome superhero genre but after a few false starts concerning a release into the public domain and now an extremely tepid and fanfare free release/reception direct to streaming on Amazon, it’s hard to see how the finished product that is Samaritan could be considered a success in any way, shape or form.
Showing some great signs with his debut feature film Son of a Gun and then backing it up with the overlooked but extremely fun B-grade horror that was Overlord, Avery has enough runs on the board to suggest his a very talented filmmaker with a lot of upside but Samaritan is the type of lifeless and dull film that sets him back a few steps with its inability to unlock the true potential of what its story might’ve held at its core.
Focused in around Javon Walton’s young boy Sam who lives a hard knock life with his single mother in the crime and poverty riddled Granite City, a city that at one stage saw the beloved superhero Samaritan protect and serve it before he supposedly perished in a deadly fight with his evil brother Nemesis, Samaritan on paper appears set to build up a nice underdog/redemption story with Sam hellbent on uncovering the mystery around Samaritan’s disappearance that leads him to believe his quiet neighbour Joe may in fact be the aged superhero in civilian disguise.
Played in a very Rocky like fashion by Stallone, both Joe and his friendship with the young Sam should’ve been the real heart and soul of Avery’s film but there’s never the spark or energy than one would’ve hoped for from a relatively character driven superhero film, one that for the most part steers clear of spectacle (more likely for budgetary reasons rather than creative) but can’t bring the heart and soul required to make you care about Joe or Sam’s friendship that leads them too a very uninspiring showdown with Pilou Asbæk’s wafer-thin villain for hire Cyrus.
Reeking of a film that was unloved by its backers/studio, hence why this MGM property was dumped onto Amazon rather than cinema screens across the globe, Samaritan had a chance somewhere along the line to be a contender but despite its earnest intentions and brief showcases of what might’ve been, Samaritan is a disappointingly dull experience that is unable to find its winning play.
Final Say –
Sylvester Stallone does his best attempt at his likeable and well-worn shtick but much like Samaritan as a whole, well-intentioned goals are far outweighed by a dour and uninspired tale that feels as though it was never given a real chance to become anything but a very mild and forgettable distraction.
2 rubbish dumpsters out of 5