They’re not the regular super heroes. They’re not
the favourites. They’re the other guys.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Hank Azaria as the Blue Raja

Claire Forlani as Monica

Janeane Garofalo as the Bowler

Greg Kinnear as Captain Amazing / Lance Hunt

William H. Macy as the Shoveller

Kel Mitchell as the Invisible Boy

Lena Olin as Dr. Annabel Leek

Paul Reubens as the Spleen

Geoffrey Rush as Casanova Frankenstein

Ben Stiller as Mr. Furious

Wes Studi as the Sphinx

Tom Waits as Dr. A. Heller

Written by Neil Cuthbert, based on a Bob Burden comic

Directed by Kinka Usher

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Past movie reviews can be found here.


When Champion City’s main superhero is taken out of
action, the B-list
decides to step up and save the day.

High Point

The motivational egg salad speech.

Low Point

The skunk humping scene. Just pointless.

The Scores

This was somewhat original. The idea of
inept and/or
accidental superheroes is at least as old as
Condorman and
Flash Gordon, but this version has a much
different feel to
it. Usually, the accidental heroes are from a world
that has no
heroes; in this case, they’re just a bunch of the
inevitable wannabes
that would be inspired if the genuine article ever
appeared. It’s
also an adaptation of an existing work. It does
depart from the genre
in a few stylistic ways, though. I give it 4 out of

The effects were generally well done, with
some smooth
transitions from live action to CGI and back. The
only one that even
felt off was the Spleen’s little canned tornado ride.
I give it 5 out
of 6.

The story has some rather unexpected twists,
such as the
rescue mission, and still holds together fairly well.
I give it 5 out
of 6.

The acting from most of the cast is very
good. William
H. Macy is always great, and Hank Azaria does some
fine work, too.
Ben Stiller’s performance is a Ben Stiller
performance; there’s
nothing really wrong with it, but he always gives me
the impression
that he’s invested so much time practicing,
rehearsing and refining
that he’s just spent by the time the cameras role,
and it comes across
as being just a bit too calculated. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The emotional response is great. This is a
funny movie, with
some excellent lines. Individual moments can be
wonderful. I give it
5 out of 6.

The production falters a bit. The pacing is
just generally
slower than you’ll find from the rest of the
superhero genre. The
editing isn’t as fast in most areas, but that really
comes across in
the final confrontation. Rather than hectic
intercutting, we see the
heroes taking turns at doing their jobs through
sequential events,
often leaving the viewer wondering what the others
are doing. Then
moments like the pinky flip come up that linger long
enough to show
that the actor/actress has stopped moving in a pose
for the camera,
breaking the sense of reality of the show. These are
somewhat minor
quibbles, but I find that they come through more and
more strongly
with each viewing. Add in some inconsistencies in
set-ups between
different camera angles and the inclusion of some
special effects
footage from the deleted ending sequence, and it just
comes across as
an amateur effort that could have been better. The
lighting was too
far toward the ambient comedy side that the low-key
goth side that the
city really needed to match its look. I give it 3
out of 6.

Overall, despite the production
inadequacies, it’s an
entertaining movie that should amuse anyone who
doesn’t take his or
her heroes too seriously. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Mystery Men receives 30 out of 42.