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copyright ©1999-2000

flick pick | Mystery Men 1999
Directed by: Kinka Usher
Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, Greg Kinnear, William H. Macy, Kel Mitchell, Paul Reubens, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Stiller
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under:
new releases, comedy, action
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something:
action-packed, dumb but fun, fantastical,  whimsical

Plot synopsis Second-rate superheroes Mr. Furious (a volcano of boundless rage), the Shoveler (battles evil with his trusty shovel), and the Blue Raja (flings forks and the occasional spoon), work hard to fight crime in Champion City, but are constantly upstaged by the suave, multiple -product- endorsed Captain Amazing. When Captain Amazing manages to get himself kidnapped by arch-enemy Casanova Frankenstein, it’s up to the trio to save the city’s number one protector. Trouble is, they just don’t have what it takes to do the job. After holding a superhero audition (at a barbecue/pool party), they enlist the aid of the Spleen (his flatulence is a near-deadly weapon), Invisible Boy (can become invisible, but only when no one’s looking), and the Bowler (possesses a magic bowling ball containing her dead father’s skull). Now they've just got to learn to trust one another enough to work as a team, so that they can rescue Captain Amazing and save their city.

Review There’s just something so endearing about this ensemble of crimefighters, whose not-so-super powers never stop them from throwing their hearts and souls into what they firmly, albeit probably misguidedly, believe are their life’s missions. The movie actually works a lot better on the small screen than it did on the big screen … this is a movie about the little guys, true underdogs and surely the most ordinary superheroes ever to have slipped on spandex to fight evil, and you love them all the more when they’re seen at an appropriately small scale rather than blown up to larger-than-life movie screen size. The cast, boasting the comic talents of the nutty Ben Stiller, earnestly straight-faced William H. Macy, and über-cool Janeane Garofalo, among others, is pretty uniformly stellar. The movie’s got its flaws – a somewhat sluggish pacing, for one, means the story sometimes seems to drag – but there are enough absurdly, brilliantly funny bits thrown in along the way to keep you very well-entertained. Mystery Men is both goofily hilarious and ultimately touching – you’re a cold, cold person if you don’t cheer just a bit when these superhero wannabes, blessed with neither talent nor luck, nonetheless manage to pull their act together enough save the day.


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