Mystery Men
Review by Ross Anthony

Great concept, stale on dialogue; "Mystery Men" gives great climax.

Three wannabe superheros (the Shoveler, the Blue Raja and Mr. Furious) are given a shot at the title, when real (well, spoof of a real) superhero, Captain Amazing is kidnapped by arch bad guy Casanova Frankenstein.

It's whacky deadpan silliness. And although good performances are given all a round (special praise to Ben Stiller) "Mystery Men's" humor escaped my eager clutches for the better part of the first half of the movie. Things sort of start rolling around the superhero wannabe try-outs, where every goofy power imaginable pops up.

Great set design, my complements to the art director. I loved the Corvette limo. I also enjoyed the assimilation of the wannabe superheros back into their real lives with their real wives or moms or girlfriends, the contrast of identities and world view is oddly ironic and potentially inspirational for all of us with a secret superhero wannabe inside.

Besides the concepts; the costumes and that Adam West Batman spoof humor are noteworthy, unfortunately they don't quite orchestrate well with the dodgey script. "Mystery Men" is nonetheless charming and as I said, the real power is in the big finish. Bring your pre-teens.

Starring Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Hank Azaria, etc.
Directed by Kinka Usher.
Written by Neil Cuthbert.
Produced by Lawrence Gordon, Mike Richardson and Lloyd Levin at Universal.
Rated PG-13.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:04:02 PDT