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Mystery Men (1999) Film Review

Updated on October 20, 2012

“Mystery Men” is an American film that was released in July 30, 1999. It is a superhero-comedy film that is based on a comic book written by Bob Burden. The film is directed by Kinka Usher and is produced by Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, and Mike Richardson. The film’s cast includes William H. Macy, Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Greg Kinnear, and Geoffrey Rush.

“Mystery Men” is about a group of superheroes that must try to save their city from a super villain. The very interesting thing about this movie is that these superheroes are not the usual superheroes you see in movies. They are inept, inexperienced and unskilled. They are somehow similar to Johnny English who is a character in the British action-comedy film entitled “Johnny English” that stars Rowan Atkinson and is directed by Peter Howitt.

“Mystery Men” is set in a fictional city called Champion City. The story begins when a superhero named Captain Amazing begins to lose sponsors because the city has no crime. Captain Amazing, who is portrayed by Greg Kinnear, has exceptional crime-fighting skills. His capabilities led to the elimination of every villain in the city and also his job. Then he creates a plan to regain his investors. This plan, however, aims to increase Campion City’s crime rate so that his villain-fighting skills can be used. He then releases Casanova Frankenstein, who is a crazy super villain that is acted by Geoffrey Rush, from a prison.

Casanova Frankenstein then captures Captain Amazing. Three inexperienced superheroes named Mr. Furious, The Shoveler, and The Blue Raja then set out to save Captain Amazing and Champion City from the evil villain. The three heroes are portrayed by Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, and Hank Azaria. They then found out that they need allies so they enlisted the help of other superheroes. The Spleen, Invisible Boy, and The Bowler accompanied them in their quest.

The superheroes in the movie have a number of interesting abilities. Some of which are similar to other superheroes from other films. Mr. Furious’ ability is his bad temper. The Shoveler is an expert in using his shovel hit his enemies. The Blue Raja, who ironically does not wear anything blue, has the skill of throwing forks and spoons. He does not throw knives for some reason. The Spleen can attack people with powerful gaseous emissions from his stomach. The Bowler is capable of throwing a very fast bowling ball. The bowling ball she uses is clear and contains her father’s skull that gives the ball some supernatural powers. Invisible Boy’s skill is invisibility but he can only use it when nobody is looking at him.

The comical mix of the abilities these superheroes have adds humor to the movie. With the humorous acting of the cast, anyone who watches this movie will surely have a great time. The props and themes in the movie also add to the humor. Casanova Frankenstein, for example, uses disco music as theme music. His lair looks like a disco and has a spinning mirror ball in it. Another example is the costume of Captain Amazing. The brand stickers on his costume make him look like a walking race car.

The stunts in the movie are also good for a movie that was made back in the 1990s. The fighting scenes are realistic enough to bring suspense to the movie and keep it interesting. Comedy is maintained throughout the movie, and it complements the action-filled scenes. However, the comedy used in the movie may be a little corny to some people, but its primary audiences are teenagers who delight in the type of humor used in the movie. Many adults will also find it entertaining.

“Mystery Men” has a PG-13 rating because of crude comical humor. There are also scenes that show violence. However, offensive language is minimal. There are only six instances of its use in the entire movie. The movie received 3 out of 5 stars.

Near the end of the movie, the band of superheroes is interviewed by reporters. They are asked what the name of their group is but then they fail to decide this among themselves. The reporter then dubs them as Mystery Men.

“Mystery Men” is definitely a fun movie to watch. Even if it was released way back in 1999, it still is entertaining and has very good elements including a comical script and excellent humor. The special effects may be a little too old but the story can really keep anyone watching.


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