Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Javon “Wanna” Walton, Pilou Asbeak, Dascha Polanco
Director: Julius Avery
Streaming: Prime Video
Review: Klep Napier
Rating: 3.5X’s out of 5X’s
Samaritan takes everything we love about the super hero genre, strips it down, takes things back to basics while telling a gritty, and grounded tale with a surprise ending that defines the true nature of good vs evil.
Directed by Julius Avery, Sylvester Stallone stars in a grounded tale about a Superhero, The Samaritan, who has gone into hiding after an unfortunate incident. While rumors circulate as to whether or not The Samaritan has survived after all these years, he befriends a young boy who has not lost hope that his favorite hero is still out there somewhere, alive and well.
Everything about this movie looked great from the first still images that were released. Then when the trailer dropped, my excitement level kicked up a notch as it appeared that Stallone was giving a dark and very believable performance. I’m here to tell you that Samaritan does not disappoint. It is one well written, well acted piece of cinema.
Joining the mix is Euphoria’s Javon “Wanna” Walton, who’s playing a more age appropriate role as Sam, the one kid in their gritty neighborhood who still believes in Samaritan’s whereabouts. When the two finally meet, the heart literally spills all over the screen. Samaritan doesn’t need flashy CGI to get its point across because it’s all about the people and the relationships of the people in this world. The film also uses this to add stakes for these characters you immediately learn to care about.
Speaking of stakes let’s talk about the films antagonist Cyrus (Pilou Asbeak). The tone, Asbeak and goons bring a level of villainy that makes a lot of the film very reminiscent of 1987’s Robocop for me. But with different motivations, they’re more of a radical rebellion who worship the legacy of Samaritan’s long time arch Nemisis (named Nemisis) and thrive to take from the haves of society, terrorize the city while leaving a blood trail at the same. Also, If you watch close enough you may even catch a Robocop easter egg.
At the end of it all, Avery built a world with characters worth caring about without trying to be what every other superhero film is. I would not be surprised if Marvel gets him on the sooner than later. Samaritan is a worthy addition to the conversation of Superhero films.
The Samaritan is now streaming on Prime Video!