Mystery Men

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By: The Dweeb

 

November 2002

DVD Features

Video: 1.85:1 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

Spotlight on Location,
Feature Commentary with Director Kinka Usher,
Deleted Scenes,
Universal Soundtrack Presentation,
Music Highlights,
The Origin of the “Mystery Men” Comic Book Characters, Production Notes,
Theatrical Trailer,
DVD-ROM Features

Theatrical release: 1999
DVD released on1/11/2000 by Universal Studios
Running time of 122 minutes

Starring: Hank Azaria, Claire Forlani, Janeane Garofalo, Eddie Izzard, Greg Kinnear, William H. Macy, Kel Mitchell, Lena Olin, Paul Reubens, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Stiller, Wes Studi, Tom Waits

Director: Kinka Usher

Plot: When Captain Amazing, Champion City’s legendary superhero, falls into the hands of the evil madman Casanova Frankenstein and his disco-dancing henchmen, there’s suddenly a chance for the aspiring superheroes to show what they can do. They’re the Mystery Men. a ragtag team of superhero wannabes featuring: Mr. Furious, whose power comes from his boundless rage; The Shoveler, a father who shovels “better than anyone”; The Blue Raja, a fork-flinging mama’s boy; The Bowler, who fights crime with the help of her father’s skull; The Spleen, whose power is pure flatulence; Invisible Boy, who’s only invisible when no one’s watching and the Sphinx, a cliché-spewing philosopher.

 

 

This little film was probably one of the worst received of the bunch in the summer of 1999, only because of poor marketing I would suspect. I had heard that it was terrible, and not funny, so I hesitated a little when I threw this one in the ole DVD player, I was surprised that it was funny as hell! What a twisted little film this is, the perfect spoof of the action superhero genre. They should have waited a little longer to release this film, now that this genre is more popular, things could have been different for these Mystery Men.

I think a lot of people didn’t understand the humor that’s in this film because its a total farce of the comic book scene. It makes fun of every convention, and even takes a few bold steps where most script writers wouldn’t dare venture for fear of destroying the movie. How many films take one of the main characters in a movie, that provides the motivation for the entire story, and kill him off? That takes guts, any other director would have chosen the easy way out and had him rescued by this band of losers. That just emphasizes the point, these guys really do suck at being super heroes.

The characters in this film are what makes this movie. My favorite has to be the Disco dancing bad guys. This flick brings together a broad spectrum of acting talent from all corners of Tinsel Town. Who would ever have thought, that a movie could put together Oscar winning actors and Pee Wee Herman (I mean Paul Reubens) and make it work? Speaking of Pee Wee, Paul is the best in here! Most of the cast is well put together, but I thought it was an odd choice to put Wes Studi as The Sphinx. I’m so used to seeing him play in more notable roles as an American Indian, it felt strange to me. But everyone else really worked well off of each other, making for a fun time.

Mystery Men comes with a decent DVD package. The sound and video are excellent, and there a good amount of extras included on the disc. The soundtrack for this film is great, love that disco sound mixed in there. It also includes a lot of typical promotional materials that usually come with films these days. Its a decent release I must say.

Overall, I like it. On second viewing I liked it even more, so I will give this my full recommendation.

Reviewer’s Opinion: BUY IT!!

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