25 years ago, Samaritan and Nemesis — twin superhuman brothers whose parents died in a fire — fought to the death in Granite City.
Today, graffiti of both of their logos can be seen all over, but if anything, the city has gotten worse. A gang leader named Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk) has found the weapon and mask of Nemesis and is using his image to gather the downtrodden in a play for power which, ultimately, will benefit him.
Meanwhile, Sam Cleary (Javon Walton) is growing up in the middle of all this, working for Cyrus’ gang in an attempt to keep his mother from being evicted, all while obsessing over the fact that Samaritan is still alive and just waiting to come back to save everyone.
He’s seen Samaritan in numerous older male role models, but when he sees garbageman neighbor Joe Smith (Sylvester Stallone), he knows he’s found his hero. That becomes even more true when Joe saves him from the gang attacking him. He punches one member so hard that he flies through the air and when they retaliate by hitting him with a car, he survives.
Written by Bragi F. Schut — it was originally a spec script, sold as a movie script and adapted as a graphic novel while waiting to be filmed — and directed by Julius Avery (Overlord), this is the kind of movie that superhero fans will adore and those bored by the genre will immensely dislike. I fall more in the first column, so I’ll say that I had a great time with it. I also — as this site has proved time and again — that an intense fascination with the films of Stallone. He imbues the role with the right level of weariness and finally anger, as this film has quite the twist near the end — and I’m not just talking about the fact that his character pours apple juice on his cereal instead of milk.