Julius Avery’s latest release, “Samaritan,” failed to meet the expectation it had set during the release of its trailer. It has become fashionably new since the days of “Hancock” to make a superhero look like a struggler who is ignoring society and trying to live a regular guy’s life. This is not bad; moreover, it is an excellent perspective to establish the superhero, unbreakable but vulnerable at times. We see the same in “Logan,” where he tries to avoid trouble because he knows he would only hurt others. As a result, he began to live anonymously, without indulging himself with anyone. But, the problem with “Samaritan” was the film’s meaninglessness. Every sequence contained some flaw that failed to establish the following events. Sylvester Stallone performed brilliantly in “Creed,” which brought him a deserving Oscar nomination. But, what went wrong here in “Samaritan”?
Why Did The World Believe That Samaritan Was Dead? Did Sam Delusional know He Was Alive?
The film starts with Sam listening to a story narrated by an author about two mighty brothers, Samaritan and Nemesis. They burned their house with their parents inside. Later, Samaritan realized he should save mankind with his power, but Nemesis continued being the bad guy. The Samaritan tried to stop Nemesis’s fury towards mankind, so Nemesis believed to continue his ambition, he must kill his brother. So, he forged a very powerful weapon, a hammer, in which he put all his hate and rage. He planned to kill Samaritan by luring him to the power plant, where they fought. There was a massive blast in the power plant, and later in the news, it was declared that both the brothers were dead. As time progressed, neither of them showed any sign of existence. So, people started to forget all about them. However, there was graffiti all around the streets. It seemed like people took different sides with the brothers. The suburbs, though, were filled with Nemesis graffiti. This established the fact that Nemesis was the voice of the poor, and this was the reason why they idolized him. So, how did Samaritan end up being the good guy?
A good Samaritan once saved Sam’s father; however, he lived with his mother as his father passed away. His mother could not afford the rent of the house they were living in, so Sam used to do different pick-and-grab jobs to gather some money to help his mother. In this process, he came into contact with Cyrus, who gave him a good amount of money since he understood his position as he once was like Sam. Cyrus told Sam that Samaritan was like a cop to those who would do anything for a living. He was a savior for the rich and doom for the poor. Nemesis, on the contrary, tried to protect them from the Samaritans. So, this was the reason why Cyrus idolized Nemesis and wanted to finish his job. He thought Nemesis intentionally wished to destroy the power plant to make humanity suffer for their crimes. He broke into a facility where the remaining Nemesis was kept to steal the hammer and both the masks. Later, he wore the mask of Nemesis and declared to the world that Nemesis was back. The poor were happy and started revolting against the authorities, knowing Nemesis had their back.
In between, Sam met with an old guy named Joe Smith, who lived in the opposite building. While Cyrus’ men attacked Sam, Joe came and saved him. Joe looked like 70 years old, but he bent a knife bare-handed. This somehow intrigues Sam’s quest to find the Samaritan. He then visited a local author who did the proper amount of research on whether Samaritan was alive or not. Sam had visited him several times whenever he saw something unusual, believing it to be a Samaritan. But now, he had this bent knife and the whole eye-witnessing the event thing with him. However, Albert Casler, the author, told him that it was not enough to prove the existence of Samaritan. Later, the guys who were beaten up by Joe Smith took their revenge by running a car over him. But, nothing much happened to him, proving that Joe Smith was indeed a Samaritan and Sam was not delusional about his existence. Sam started bonding with Joe Smith, whom he thought was a Samaritan.
‘Samaritan’ Ending Explained: Was Joe Smith The Actual Samaritan? Why Did Sam Hide The Facts About Nemesis From The World?
When the Samaritan’s existence grabbed Cyrus’s attention, he tried to fulfill the task he thought Nemesis had failed at. He searched for and kidnapped him, knowing he would come to save him. Joe Smith was willing to leave the city as he did not want people to know that Samaritan existed. But, Sam had a broken watch which he had repaired, and when he went to his apartment to return the watch, he saw Sam’s mother, Tiffany, lying on the floor. She told him about the kidnapping of Sam. Joe went to rescue Sam from Cyrus, but Cyrus hit him with the hammer. Right at that moment, Joe told Cyrus that he was not a Samaritan. He was the Nemesis. He pushed Samaritans that night into the fire. All of his suppressed rages were about to be unleashed as he met with his all-powerful weapon, the hammer. He destroyed almost everything and killed everyone who came in his way. Later, there was a face-off between him and Cyrus, where he pushed Cyrus into the flames. He rescued Sam, and it was obvious to others that a figure had made a huge jump from one building to another. Since Sam was saved, everyone believed that the Samaritan must have done the heroics. Everyone started to cheer for him.
When asked by a reporter about what happened at the blast point, he said there was a massive fire, and a Samaritan came to rescue him. Sam already knew that Samaritan was dead as Joe Smith confessed that he was Nemesis. But, people believed Samaritan to be a good guy, and if they knew that the good guy was dead, people would lose hope. Hope gives people motivation. The thing is, there is no objectivity when it comes to assessing if a person is good or bad. What’s good for one may seem bad from another perspective. Samaritan could have been the good guy who stopped robberies or something. But he never stood up for the poor.
The psychological complexities played a crucial role that night when Nemesis planned to kill Samaritan. Samaritan had the opportunity to kill Nemesis, but he did not. Soon, Samaritan fell into a hole created by the fire and held onto a wooden structure. Nemesis grabbed his hands and mask, but the wooden structure broke. The Samaritan fell into the fire while Nemesis stood there holding both the masks with a mournful expression on his face. Although he planned to kill Samaritan, he understood that he did not really want that. Until then, he did not consider himself the bad guy, but from that point, he believed he was the bad guy. So, when Sam told the world that it was Samaritan who saved him, not Nemesis, Joe knew that he was doing the right thing. People did not deserve the truth.
Final Words: Good Enough For A One-Time Watch
It is just another local mobster story that ends with him being killed. Only this film featured a superhero instead of a rogue. There can be a lot of questions raised about the movie’s execution, but sometimes you ought to have films like this only for entertainment purposes. However, the story loses its grip, sooner than you think, and entertainment becomes exhausting. There was no proper context established between Sam and Joe that could ensure that Joe could go to any extent to save Sam from Cyrus. In one scene, Joe tells Sam to run away from the street fights because that is the best thing to do. But later, when Sam asks Joe to teach him how to fight, Joe agrees. It was the poor writing that made the whole film suffer. The events were rushed, putting the final nail in the coffin. Sylvester Stallon’s performance stood out; however, there was not much he could do to save the fall. The execution, the production design, and everything else is flawed here in “Samaritan.” It is good for a one-time watch as we all like to see Stallone on screen.
See More: ‘Samaritan’ Characters: Joe Smith And Sam Cleary, Explained: How Is Joe Influenced By Sam?