Mystery Men is one of the funniest films I've seen all year. It combines the hilarious randomness of films like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, with a satirical twist that today's audiences are sure to appreciate. Now don't get me wrong, Mystery Men is no masterpiece, but it made me laugh (a lot) and that's what the film is about. Mystery Men scores high in all areas. It has an entirely kooky and original plot fueled by crack up dialogue, mesmerizing scenery, (which is reminiscent of the Batman movies) and an awesome cast.
The Mystery Men, who are never actually called that in the film, are at first a group of three superheroes, who are more accurately super-losers. They go in to fight the bad guys and end up with the bruises and cuts that only the losing team would receive. Soon the heroes, namely The Shoveler (William H. Macy), Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller) and Blue Raja (Hank Azaria), learn that Captain Amazing has been captured. They then decide they need help. After holding auditions, they recruit The Spleen (Paul Ruebens), The Bowler (Janeane Garofalo), and one of the movie's flaws, the pointless character, Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell of Nickelodeon fame). With the help of their mentor The Sphinx (Wes Studi), they go up against Cassanova Frankenstein to free Champion City's number one hero. What happens? Well, you'll just have to go see it won't you?
But alas, ladies and gentlemen, like all good movies Mystery Men has flaws. Granted they are minor and maybe I'm being a little picky, but I feel I'm obligated to tell it like I see it.
At times there was an unnecessary element that I felt was inappropriate for a film like this one. It was an element of seriousness that didn't work. I can understand the writers feeling that variety was important, but in this case the seriousness makes it look like they were trying too hard to be well rounded. I also had a problem with the character Invisible Boy. Simply put he had no purpose. It's as if they needed a way for the Mystery Men to escape from a certain obstacle, so they created a character with a power that would help them do so. It was pointless and distracting. To sum it up, Mystery Men is a very funny film with a few fairly minor flaws. It has dynamite cast and stunning visuals. It's for those who like to laugh, and who doesn't? Go see Mystery Men and enjoy!
Bowl if you want to.
Run time: 121 mins
In Theaters: Friday 6th August 1999
Box Office Worldwide: $29.8M
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Golar Productions, Dark Horse Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 62 Rotten: 41
IMDB: 6.0 / 10
Director: Kinka Usher
Screenwriter: Neil Cuthbert
Starring: Hank Azaria as The Blue Raja, Janeane Garofalo as The Bowler, William H. Macy as The Shoveler, Kel Mitchell as The Invisible Boy, Jenifer Lewis as Lucille, Ben Stiller as Mr. Furious, Paul Reubens as Spleen, Stacey Travis as Powerwoman, Claire Forlani as Monica, Wes Studi as Sphinx, Greg Kinnear as Captain Amazing / Lance, Geoffrey Rush as Casanova Frankenstein, Lena Olin as Dr. Anabel Leek, Eddie Izzard as Tony P, Artie Lange as Big Red, Pras as Tony C, Tom Waits as Doc Heller, Louise Lasser as Violet, Ricky Jay as Vic Weems, Ernie Lee Banks as Ted, Gerry Becker as Banyon, Ned Bellamy as Funk, Corbin Bleu as Butch, Philip Bolden as Roland, Emmy Laybourne as Reporter
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