Directed by: Kinka Usher
Written by:Neil Cuthbert
Starring: Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, William H. Macy, Kel Mitchell, Paul Reubens, Ben Stiller, Wes Studi, Greg Kinnear, Lena Olin, Claire Forlani, Geoffrey Rush
Released: January 13, 2000
Grade: C+

A film with promise that never looks like living up to it is the best way to describe the new action-comedy Mystery Men

Set in a crazy, futuristic sci-fi world, we meet Captain Amazing (Kinnear) who as a super-hero has conquered all the villains of Champion City and has no one left to defeat.  Worried about losing his celebrity status and sponsorships, he helps plead the release from prison of his all time great nemesis, Casanova Frankenstein (Rush), so he can take on and defeat him again.

Casanova has an ace up his sleeve however and captures the amazing Captain leaving the city helpless.  Enter the B-grade heroes who have come to save the day.  Sick of living in the shadow of Captain America, this is their chance to rescue him and save the city.

Introducing - the Blue Raja (Azaria), the Shovelor (Macy), Mr. Furious (Stiller), the Bowler (Garofalo), the Spleen (Paul Reubens), Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell) and the “quotable” Sphinx (Wes Studi).  All with their special secret power, their inspiration came from the Dark Horse comic books.

Mystery Men is a satirical look at super heroes that isn’t very good.  For every great moment (such as the recruitment scene), there’s an uninspired scene that takes a bad joke and stretches it further.

The cast works in a similar vein - all have their moments, but in the end no one stands out.  If any must be praised, Aussie Geoffrey Rush and Janeane Garofalo get my approval.

Austin Powers has done it twice previous and much better I might add, leaving Mystery Men as an overly long film that makes you yearn for these heroes to meet a sickly demise.