The Pitch: You’ve heard of Superman. You’ve heard of the Punisher. You’ve even heard of Hancock, but you likely have never heard of Samaritan. However, Overlord director Julius Avery wants you to know his name. Adapted from the Mythos Comics series of the same name, this film centers around a young boy named Sam (Javon Walton) with a love for the titular long-thought-dead superhero named Samaritan.
Sam has a hunch that the revered hero is still alive, but can’t really prove it as more than a fan theory. The legend goes that Samaritan went to battle with his equally strong yet villainous brother Nemesis over twenty-five years ago, both of them dying in the chaos. Without any real evidence that he’s right about Samaritan still being alive, Sam spends his time doodling, finding scrap metal to sell, and avoiding local gangs that goad him into being their front for robberies.
It turns out that not only is Sam right about Samaritan, but he’s Sam’s neighbor, a garbage man named Joe Smith (Sylvester Stallone), who isn’t exactly happy that his past is now creeping back to him. For, although Nemesis is gone, his legacy still remains, as a gang leader named Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk) looks to continue the anarchy that Samaritan’s brother seemingly died to start.
I’m a Troglodyte: Nobody in Samaritan gives an Oscar-winning performance, especially with lines like “street fighting is for fools” for dialogue. That isn’t to say that the majority of the cast doesn’t try. While a bit stilted in his delivery at times, Walton continues being the same energetic presence that he’s established himself to be on Euphoria and The Umbrella Academy. Asbæk also isn’t afraid to chew the scenery around him, although this campy performance does waver towards the end of the film.
Unfortunately, Stallone is what bogs the rest of the cast down, and he bogs them down hard. While he’s known for his unique delivery style, most of his lines in this movie can’t be clearly understood due to how slurred he makes them. Every time he tries to say something that is meant to sound cool and badass, he delivers it like he’d rather be anywhere else but shooting that scene. He seemingly makes no real attempt at acting throughout Samaritan, which is a damn shame considering how we know that he can deliver a great performance — when he tries.