Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #7 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I’ll be talking about Mystery Men.
This is one of those films I’ve heard about through passing conversation online and have been told to watch a good few times by my uncle over the last few years, but I’ve never put time aside to see it. But much like a few previous entries in this blog series I now have a reason to watch it.
The story can be summed up as the following:
“A group of inept amateur superheroes must try to save the day when a supervillian threatens to destroy a major superhero and the city.”
The story in this film is very unconventional, it is like a typical superhero film but at the same time it really isn’t. Mystery Men tells a classic tale of superhero heroics, but in a parody-like fashion that pokes fun at superhero tropes and the standard codes and conventions. It is pretty interesting to see these strange takes on superheroes and villains when it comes to their costumes, personalities and motivations and the overall story. Since this is primarily a parody of superhero stuff, the jokes and references are very self-aware and will resonate with any comic book fans who know their superhero material. The comedy doesn’t always work but when it does hit it can be pretty funny because it is so strange and silly.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with Ben Stiller as Mr. Furious, this guy is a little temperamental, insecure and ridiculous, but it those traits that make him fun to watch. Hank Azaria as The Blue Raja/Jeff, a superhero who throws cutlery with great accuracy. One of the standout performances comes William H. Macy as The Shoveler, this hero is so bizarre with his choice of weapon, however he acts with the most amount of logic and sensibility. Kel Mitchell is great as Invisible Boy, he is a nice, smart and innocent dude who has the ability to become if nobody is looking, which is ridiculous but it makes him really funny too. Janeane Garofalo does a really good job as The Bowler, i like her backstory and her reasoning for wanting to join the team and have revenge for what happened to her father. Wes Studi has to be my favourite as The Sphinx, this superhero has some cool powers but what may be even cooler is the fact that he constantly talks in riddles or just states sayings in a confusing manner.
Geoffrey Rush as Casanova Frankenstein is fabulous, this guys is very smart, cunning, flamboyant and is fun to watch. Eddie Izzard is just awesome as Tony P., this guy is the leader of the Disco Boys and has a lot of confidence, charisma and style. Greg Kinnear is really good as Captain Amazing/Lance Hunt, he’s this superhero who is super nice, charming and has all of those Superman/Captain America personality traits in the public eye, but behind the scenes he’s a bit of an asshole who needs a challenge and better reception from the public eye. Also Paul Reubens is good as The Spleen, Claire Forlani is lovely as Monica the waitress and Tom Waits is another strange yet entertaining person as Dr. A. Heller.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is pretty good, there is a nice sense of style with the costume design, art direction when it comes to Champion City and the use of colour and lighting. The CGI helps to craft the expansive city and is used well in some of the action scenes, but it does look a little dated now. As for the soundtrack, the film score by Stephen Warbeck is alright, but the music selection is much better especially when it comes to “All-Star” by Smash Mouth (love this song).
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? This is another one of those films I never knew was originally based on a comic until I looked it up, so once again I don’t know much about the source material.
So to conclude Mystery Men is a strange yet fun film, it parodies the superhero genre with some really funny, strange and interesting ideas, and it helps that the cast involved are really good as well. While it isn’t a great film, it’s still worth a watch especially if you like superhero films.
That’s 7 reviews done, only 23 more to go. So have you seen Mystery Men and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!