When Sylvester Stallone got his first ever Golden Globe (for Best Supporting Actor) for Creed (2015), he said, “I am the sum total of everyone I’ve ever met.” And that “sum total,” thanks to his now-73-year-old never-give-up charm, accounts for his fans that span across generations. And the number keeps growing. It always will.
“Samaritan” (2022) trailer brings back Sylvester Stallone in our beloved heavy-duty avatar after 2019’s Rambo-Last Blood. And this time, he is not the good-bad guy, but a good guy and more. He is finally a superhero, a role which he rightfully deserves, and we have his track record to prove it. Directed by Julius Avery (Son of a Gun, Overlord), the film is based on the Mythos Comics graphic novels and will offer a new take on the superhero genre, one that is more dark. “Samaritan,” AKA Joe Smith, played by Sylvester Stallone, is a retired superhero who now works as a sanitation worker in a city with rising crime and violence. His superhero days are long gone, and to the world, the “Samaritan” has been dead for 25 years.
From the trailer, it seems that some act of his led to the death of his family (revenge by his enemies perhaps), after which he buried his “cape.” In other words, “Samaritan” was no more. Coming back to the present, when young Sam Cleary (Javon “Wanna” Walton) is saved by his neighbor, Mr. Smith (Joe), from being beaten by a couple of bullies, Sam starts to wonder if his search for his favorite hero, “Samaritan,” has finally come to an end. He tries to woo Joe into accepting who he really is and almost becomes Joe’s ward, and that is what will take their story forward. We also have an antagonist, Edwin (Pilou Asbæk), who is bent upon killing Joe and sends his guys after him. This is what brings in all the action, but it is also clear from the trailer that the film will have a mystery aspect to it as to what happened to Joe Smith 25 years ago.
Addressing the elephant in the room, Sylvester Stallone is 73 years old. And yet he doesn’t seem to age. That heroism that we found in him in Rocky, Demolition Man, Judge Dredd, Rambo, and The Expendables, among others, is, surprisingly and to our good fortune, still there. His reputation as an action star surpasses that of any other actor, perhaps. His work in Creed and Creed 2 was highly appreciated, and for a good reason. And even at his age, he hasn’t really strayed away from films. “Samaritan” seems to be like a macho mix of Hancock and Deadpool. He has superhuman strength, and he has the ability to heal in a very short time. And it will be nice to have Stallone in this avatar, one that is not just a superhero but a man with a past.
The film is rated PG-13 due to its strong language and violence, which makes sense as it is a superhero film. Blood and gore won’t really be there as such, but we can expect heavy action, as we see in the trailer itself. However, “Samaritan” isn’t another usual superhero film, and neither is it one that shows Stallone in his back-breaking persona. It is as much about the mind as it is about the body that will show an old guy who has “stopped caring”, and is trying to outlive his past, come across a kid who reminds him of the good that is in him.
“Samaritan” releases on Amazon Prime on August 26, 2022. It stars Sylvester Stallone, Javon “Wanna” Walton, Pilou Asbæk, Martin Starr, Moisés Arias, and Dascha Polanco.