It is a Monday and a start of another week but I still have a couple of leftovers from the weekend. And with that I finished watching the new English film Samaritan streaming on Amazon Prime and starring one of my favourite action heroes Sylvester Stallone. Right from the time I had watched his film Rocky years ago, I had begun to patronize him. And there was no way in the world that I was going to miss Samaritan. One thing which did hurt me was that he was getting old but that is the harsh reality of life. But despite that it was heartening for me to see him in an action entertainer wherein I did hope that he would turn the clock backwards. Like always, I did not watch the trailer of Samaritan and hence I had no idea as to what the film was going to serve me. And now that I have finished watching Samaritan, here are my two cents on the same.
Story & Screenplay
Samaritan is the story of a young boy who learns that a superhero who had gone missing years back might still be alive. The story didn’t quite excite me even at the concept level. It did seem like a traditional good vs bad kind of a drama packaged into a superhero origin story. But I was hopeful about the screenplay that stands at just about a 100 minutes which made me skeptical of the drama being half cooked.
The screenplay for me was all too vanilla right from the onset. The hook in the drama was missing with one cliché thrown in after another. It begins on a somewhat interesting note through the start credits wherein the drama was given a background almost like a fable. Soon you are introduced to the characters with the intention of sucking the audience in their world. But the template is not too different from any superhero film, instead it is all uni-dimensional.
The drama is watchable wherein a few action sequences are well choreographed and something which will keep you mildly invested. However, the predictability of the drama(barring that final twist) is a deterrent here wherein you can exactly predict the beats of the screenplay. The fight of good vs evil is an age old concept, however the onus is on the writers to make it interesting which here is clearly not the case.
The final act did have a few moments including the shocking twist but the way it was executed coupled with a hurried narration, made it almost implausible to the viewer. You needed the viewer to settle in to the twist atleast in the pre finale, dedicating the final act only like a rescue mission of sorts. But the blotched writing ensures that the drama nosedives before ending. Overall, just a mishmash kind of writing which plays it all too safe thereby making the drama predictable.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are slightly cliched but adequate at the end of the day. The BGM is pulsating and maintains the mood of the drama quite well. The cinematography is pretty decent as is the editing which is sharp albeit with a few jump cuts here and there. Director Julius Avery does a fair job but never rises above the predictable script. His direction is just about average and doesn’t really have moments to rave about.
The performances are really good. Jared Odrick as Farshad, Moises Arias as Reza and Martin Starr as Albert have their moments to shine. Dascha Polancho as Tiffany has very little to do, likewise for Sophia Tatum as Sil who is decent in an underwritten role. Pilou Asbaek as Cyrus is impressive and makes his presence felt. Javon “Wanna” Walton as Sam is excellent and quite natural in his role. Sylvester Stallone still has it in him to pull off a kickass action entertainer. He is stupendous here although he needed a better script too at the end of the day.
Samaritan is a predictable and cliched drama which is all too vanilla and a bit of a letdown! Available on Amazon Prime.