Samaritan

Logo of the 2022 film "Samaritan"

Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers for “Samaritan”

A good samaritan would have told me not to watch “Samaritan” before I watched. The movie follows a young boy named Sam, played by Javon Walton, finding out his neighbor is a supposedly dead superhero named Samaritan, played by Sylvester Stallone. 

Normally, if I heard Walton was the star of a movie, I would’ve loved to watch it. After his performance as Ashtray on “Euphoria,” he made an impression on me as a good actor. After “Samaritan,” I have lost faith in him. 

He showed little to no range as Sam and remained inconsistent in his delivery of lines. However, he wasn’t alone in his delivery — almost everyone in the antagonist’s gang tried to act like they were tough, but none of them even came close to convincing me they were gangsters. 

The worst part is I had no idea what was going on for most of the movie. The movie opens with the legend of Samaritan and Nemesis, two brothers with extraordinary powers, bullied as children and made orphans by the town. One fought for justice and one fought for revenge, yet the both of them, supposedly, died in a large fire at the city’s power plant after Nemesis tried to lure Samaritan into a trap.

For years, the city grieved the loss of their superhero, and yet, he was under its nose the whole time. Except Stallone’s character Joe wasn’t Samaritan, he was Nemesis — big surprise.

Now here’s where the plot gets sloppy. The main antagonist Cyrus, played by Pilou Asbæk, decided he wanted to “finish what Nemesis started.” What did Nemesis start? I have no clue — they didn’t tell us. Sometimes Stallone would randomly tell Cyrus he was wrong. Wrong about what? I don’t know! Cyrus decided setting bombs off around the city’s power plant, blacking out the city and looting the city was what Nemesis started. 

Most of the time, the plot would shift tones or subjects and every single time, it came out of nowhere. Transitions did not exist in this movie whatsoever. I think what I hated most about the acting in this movie was that the actors showed no ability to shift tone. Out of the blue, characters would suddenly become angry or sad or curious. There was nothing on their face to even indicate that something was about to come up. 

One of the biggest points I got stuck on was the stupid hammer. In the legend of Samaritan and Nemesis, Nemesis created a hammer “forged by the hatred of his brother” that was the only thing that could leave a mark on either brother. Do you want to know where this city kept it? Maybe they put it in a government facility because of its volatility or supernatural abilities. Nope — it was conveniently located in this random city’s evidence locker. 

Cyrus just threw a bomb in some office, grabbed the hammer and it was never talked about again. Sure, it was used in fights against Samaritan, but there was no explanation as to what the hammer was. 

Overall, Stallone delivered an awesome performance despite the crappy script and co-stars. The plot was sub-par, sloppy and full of holes, and child-star Walton fell short in comparison to his previous roles.