10 years of Flick Filosopher: the mystery of ‘Mystery Men’
I can’t believe more geeks don’t love Mystery Men the way I do:
Making Mystery Men really fly, though, is a cast of actors Who Can Do No Wrong. Absolutely everybody onscreen is having a ball. You can practically feel the glee with which Kinnear sports his Clark Kent glasses to (not at all) disguise the fact that his billionaire Lance Hunt is also Captain Amazing, and with which Rush wields his bizarre accent as the over-the-top supervillain. Stiller and Garofalo are as effortlessly brilliant as always, their Mr. Furious and Bowler both equal mixtures of self-hatred and misanthropy, vulnerability and hidden strength. But Macy and Azaria deserve the biggest kudos for giving their Shoveler and Blue Raja surprisingly moving undercurrents of pathos amidst all the mania onscreen.
Though it’s sad to think there was a time when I could call Ben Stiller “effortlessly brilliant as always,” now that we’ve seen how willing he is to whore his smarts out in dumb movies.
• review of Mystery Men, posted 08.09.99
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