November 8, 2013
Classic 90s Films: Mystery Men
Today I’m going to take you back a little over ten years to an amazing comic movie called Mystery Men. If you’d known who Kel Mitchell or Ben Stiller were back in 1999, then you probably caught sight of a spectacular movie cover of Stiller with a handful of delightfully costumed superheroes. Before comic books became a fad in the film industry, the medium was no more than a dry note that filmmakers couldn’t stop missing.
Filmmaker Kinka Usher was a prime example of those certain filmmakers. However, unlike his peers, Usher understood that he didn’t belong in the film industry after Mystery Men took a box office flop. Usher is a specialist in commercial ads. Mystery Men remains to date the only film that Usher has ever made. Critics at the time called the film a tragic hit and miss — as if they have anything better to say about films that they don’t like — but I’m under the impression that the movie was released far too early for its time.
Mystery Men tells the story of Roy, Jeff, and Eddie, three amateur vigilantes with no supernatural powers of their own. Jeff calls himself the Blue Raja, a British superhero with the ability to hurl forks with a ‘deadly accuracy.’ Eddie calls himself the Shoveler, a handyman-like character armed with garden tools, including a garden shovel, a tunnel helmet, and even leather armor borrowed from his son’s baseball gear. That leaves Roy, who calls himself Mr. Furious, a hot head clad in black leather.
Guess what his power is.
What these three lack in supernatural ability, they make up for in enthusiasm and ambition. However, their hard efforts are shadowed by Captain Amazing, secretly rich boy Lance Hunt, a superhero with an ‘amazing’ sense of strength, speed, and even a jetpack strapped to his back. The irony here is that while Captain Amazing doesn’t have supernatural powers either, he still manages to capture the hearts and enthusiasm of his fans. So we can conclude from the ten-minute intro of this movie that our main characters don’t truly suck.
People just don’t believe in them enough.
Be that as it may, our heroes do their average every night routine, albeit on top of taking care of their families.
Captain Amazing is dealing with his own disparity as a hero, mainly his boredom from putting away all of the city’s worst superheroes. After he became Champion City’s most beloved protector, Hunt took to accepting endorsement deals with food and product companies to keep his superhero fund rolling. In order to inject some excitement back into his career, Hunt impersonates his alter ego to vote Casanova Frankenstein’s sanity into play, releasing him into Hunt’s hands again.
Hunt’s plan backfires hilariously the same night when Frankenstein blows up the asylum while simultaneously capturing Amazing, setting the story for our heroes.
Sound interesting enough for you? More to come in future blogs!
Image Credit: Universal Pictures