A nice piece of solid superhero entertainment

The superhero origin story of “Samaritan” revolves around twin brothers, who are so strong, that they accidentally injure people, up to the point of them being outcasts from society. When people burn down their home and kill their parents, they divide themselves on a delicate balance between good and evil.

Samaritan is the good guy, who eases his emotions, while Nemesis is so poisoned by the hatred, that he makes a hammer-strong enough to take out anyone who apposes him. Society was led to believe that the twins both died in a horrible battle. Or was it just Nemesis that died? Samaritan could still be alive.

At least one boy believes that.

Yet another representation of what unemployment and poverty does to people, the movie wants to have a “Rocky” meets “Unbreakable” edge. And I’m not just saying that because Sylvester Stallone acts and produces it. It’s a solid (if not) profound piece of entertainment that sometimes goofy fun, sometimes standard, and often times really fun. It’s the kind of Stallone piece that “Rambo: Last Blood” wasn’t, and this one is rated PG-13.

The boy who believes Samaritan is alive is Sam Cleary (Javon “Wanna” Walton), whose mother (Dascha Polanco) is struggling to keep a roof over their heads. That’s why the boy pulls off small time crimes with his only friend Jace (Abraham Clinkscales) and for the minuscule gangster Reza (Moises Arias).

That tough shorty is connected to the sinister Cyrus (Pilou Asbaek), who is planning to shut the city down and begin a revolution. He even breaks into a police station and steals Nemesis’ mask.

Then, Sam crosses paths with a scavenger by the same of Joe (Stallone), who may or may not be Samaritan, because of how he can survive getting run over by a car and how he can fight Reza’s goons. As expected, the boy and the old man bond, while the latter explains to the former about the difference between right and wrong and good and evil. You know the familiar details.

“Samaritan” was written by Bragi F. Schut, who didn’t provide much originality in “Escape Room,” and was directed by Julius Avery, who also made the wickedly entertaining “Overlord.” This movie is not as strong as the hero, but it is consistent in the ways it represents poverty and unemployment in their darkest aspects. “Joker” is the better superhero drama to represent the evils of society, but this is still a pretty good one.

Stallone does a good, professional job at playing the old guy with city miles on him and an ageless attitude. He also has a nice connection with Walton, who has his moments of levity and curiosity. And I also like Asbaek as the villain with a knack for comebacks, even if he’s acting like the Nemesis villain.

A lot of action and silly moments, as well as it’s own aspects of superheroes and villains in society without DC or Marvel, makes “Samaritan” one of the few decent action movies this summer. And we’re almost done with August.

P.S. There are reasons why I described this movie as “Rocky” meets “Unbreakable.” See it and find out why.

Rating: 3 out of 4.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Categories: Action, Drama, Fantasy

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