Las Vegas Film Society

Mystery Men


I had huge expectations for this film. It stars several of my favorite actors, has a really cool, dark horse comic feel to it, and looked (judging from the very cool trailers) like it would be a very funny movie.

well, I am a little dissapointed. For starters, the movie is very slow moving. After a pretty good start, it just drags on and on.

One of the most often cited complaints critics have with movies is lack of character development. Well, with this movie my major complaint is the opposite. WAY too much time is spent on showing the limitations of the characters, their inability to get along with each other, their apparent lack of any type of super power, and how they get along with thier immediate families.

Billed as a comedy, this movie is burdened by "life's lessons" and philosophy. Virtually every funny moment in this film is in the trailer, and the rest of the movie is chock full of filler.

'Mystery Men' stars some of my favorite actors and actresses, but not their best performances. Ben Stiller, who was nothing short of brilliant in 'Something about Mary', was abismal in this film. To be honest, not all blame should be bestowed upon Ben, no actor can make his charactor any more interesting than the script, and this is one script that needed a rewrite before shooting began.

Jeanine Garafolo is one of my favorite actresses. In fact, she is probably one of the only legitimate reasons to want to see this film. She plays her character perfectly and believably, with the spunky attitude and slightly insane zaniness that she does so well. I personally think it a shame that she has been so overlooked by Hollywood throughout her career. And yes, I did catch that comment about supporting independent music and film artists that her character throws out at the end! Unfortunately, her character isn't even introduced until almost 30 minutes into the film. A glaring example of just how slowly this movie progresses.

Don't get me wrong, there is some good to this film. Paul Ruebens (Pee Wee Herman) plays an eccentric character whose power is flatulence, Greg Kinnear plays a super hero obsessed with his corporate sponsors (with an outfit complete with sponsor stickers.... can you say, "Product Placement?" I know ya could!)

All in all, I think better could be had at the theater this summer. Deep Blue Sea, while not offering anything worthy of an oscar, is extremely enjoyable, as is 6th Sense and The Iron Giant. Mystery Men is not all together a horrible afair, but should only be seen after all other good movies out right now have been seen...

'Mystery Men' is Rated PG-13 for violence and pathetic personas, and runs approximately 2 hours. There is no nudity in this film.


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