Friday, May 1, 2015

Mystery Men (1999)

Mystery Men is superhero comedy loosely based on Flaming Carrot Comic. It tells about three regulars guys whose hobby is to be superheroes and fight crime in Champion City. Champion City has one real superhero Captain Amazing who has almost got rid of all the crime. This causes his sponsorship revenues to decline. Because of this he decides to help supervillain Casanova Frankenstein to be released on parole. Plan backfires as Casanova catches Captain Amazing. It is up to our three to save the only real superhero from Casanova.

Mystery Men have similar themes as Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2. Normal people playing superheroes without much success. Main difference is that Kick-Ass understands the genre and is ready to go over the top. Even thought Mystery Men is loosely based on comic it feels like parody of 60's Batman with Tim Burton's Batman's visuals. And it tries to be too generic and appeal to everyone. It was box office bomb making only about half of the money back.

Mystery Men is not as bad as box office may imply. It has few interesting characters like boy who can turn invisible when nobody is watching or weapon designer who doesn't want to design lethal weapons. Some jokes are actually clever and there are couple good twists. But overall Mystery Men is too generic. It feels like it was written by people who don't know superhero genre but wanted to parody it after seeing Batman and reading few comics.

There are no characters standing out. Everyone is just grey mass, even those interesting ones. First they are not very effective. When they have no other choice they find their inner superheroes and learn to work as team. William H. Macy does good job as Shoveler. His character was supposed to be gray mass, a down to earth guy with no ego who keeps the group together being real leader of the group even though bigger egos like to think themselves as leaders.

Because Mystery Men is aimed for kids Mr Furious can't really be furious, he has to be more funny than furious. Then you have characters like The Spleen whose superpower is tainting farts. I don't know the comic so I can't say was he in comics or was he created for this movie.

Mystery Men ends up being generic 90's superhero movie with comedy elements. There are much better movies in genre but if you like the genre you find some entertainment from this.

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