Sylvester Stallone plays superheroes 😇

At 76, one of the leading figures of action cinema of the 80s and 90s succumbs to the call of the masked vigilante. Sylvester Stallone as an aging superhero? It was enough for us to be interested in The Samaritan.

He may have made a small appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, but we had to wait for The Samaritan for Sylvester Stallone to finally acquire superpowers. Almost a way of closing the loop for the one who, through his action films like Judge Dredd, Demolition Man and all that served to build his legend, had already proven that he was a superman. All he needed was the costume.

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Still, Julius Avery’s film (responsible for 2018’s Little Curiosity Overlord) has no intention of copying Marvel’s or DC’s pals. We can even say that he and the screenplay by Bragi F. Schut (Escape Game) sign a Stallonian film on the fingertips.

It’s been 25 years since Granite City vigilante The Samaritan went missing. And as chaos threatens to engulf the city, young Sam Cleary is convinced that the hero is not dead. He comes to suspect Joe Smith, a taciturn old man, of being the latter.

Stallone continues his swan song

A retired old glory pushed to fight one last fight? Hard to do more John Rambo / Rocky Balboa than the pitch of The Samaritan. It’s not for nothing that the film is based on an original story and not on a paper comic; we are not so much in a work of superheroes as in a new tour de force of Sly where he can drag his heavy, tired carcass while still showing himself to be sharp.

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As he has become accustomed to with his latest releases, the actor assumes his age, but does not intend to disappear tomorrow. We will not bury him so easily and it is enough to see him in full action to realize that at 76 years old, he still has enough punch to beat extras. Once an action star, always an action star. Superpowers are just a bonus after all.

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It is not his abilities that define his character. At the turn of a dialogue on the latter, he has fun, prefers to stay quiet and eat his tubs of ice cream. The super side can almost be seen as a simple marketing element, the scenario speaking more of the man than the superman. When Stallone tells stories, the younger generation must listen.

Super handicap?

You should know that The Samaritan was initially intended for dark rooms and it is after many difficulties that it lands on Amazon Prime Video. A blessing in disguise as The Samaritan could not have competed with the powerful competition, especially since he intends to play on another field.

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With a limited budget somewhat sabotaging its third act, its honest duration (90 minutes) and its stated desire not to succumb to the sirens of ambitions too great for it, The Samaritan is more of an anti-superhero film where we prefer talking about redemption and the (sur)living conditions of families in dilapidated neighborhoods than about super-men putting themselves on the face. Like Joe Smith, the feature film does not hide its flaws, assumes them and uses them to tell a story where we repair more than we destroy.

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We even want to say that it is in its exploitation of the superheroic genre that the footage is lost. In addition to its not necessarily successful special effects, the implementation of the codes, in particular with its completely utilitarian villain, penalizes a film which is savored more in its more intimate moments. We would almost come to regret that it is a question of super where we would have been content with heroes.

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Another point of contention: the use of violence. Useless when free, it becomes necessary when it serves to tell something. However, even in its most brutal moments, The Samaritan remains within the limits of the general public. A choice that seems at odds with a scenario where violence is a major issue. Whether it is to express the revolt of the poor population or to stage the expected rebound, the lack of guts (in the literal sense) discredits the whole, as if the actions did not follow the words, sabotaging the desired rise in power . For once, The Samaritan is a bit too much.

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