Mystery Men (1999)

Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garafolo, and Paul "Pee Wee 
Herman" Reubens as superheroes?  Battling Geoffrey Rush's long-
nailed, longer-locked Cassanova Frankenstein??  Worth watching for 
the creative casting alone, the oft-hilarious, immensely enter-
taining action-comedy MYSTERY MEN also adds William H. Macy, Wes 
to the aforementioned four.  They play second-stringers, who rise 
to the occasion after Champion City's primary protector, Greg Kin-
near's Captain Amazing, is captured by an old foe.  (Their super-
powers include the ability to throw forks, pass gas, get really, 
really mad, and turn completely invisible... but only when no 
one's watching.)  Also in the mix is Tom Waits (!), as an eccen-
tric, non-lethal weapons designer who aids the unnamed ensemble.  
(Gotta love that Blame Thrower.)  With a witty, well-versed script 
by Neil Cuthbert, based on Bob Burden's Dark Horse comic book, a 
BLADE RUNNER-meets-BATMAN production design by Kirk M. Petruccelli,
and endlessly imaginative visuals by first-time filmmaker Kinka 
Usher, MYSTERY MEN has imagination to spare.  Regrettably, it also 
has imagination to *lose*.  Really, there's just too much to take 
in.  (You could probably shave at least fifteen minutes from the 
various effects- and action-sequences that run ever-so-slightly 
long.)  Same with the gag camera angles, which Usher ushers *way* 
too often.  (Who wants to be disoriented during sequences that 
don't involve psychedelic drugs?)  With Lena Olin, Eddie Izzard, 
and some smaller cameos including ARMAGEDDON director Michael Bay 
as Frat Boys gang member.  (Rated "PG-13"/~120 min.)

Grade: B-      

Copyright 1999 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: Sharks and Superheroes

[an error occurred while processing this directive]