Sylvester Stallone is a name with legendary status, and he is deserving of it given the reputation he built in action movies over the past four decades. He established himself as one of the greatest action performers of all time with the iconic Rambo series and the Expendables series, and even at the age of 76, he took on the risk once again for the superhero film Samaritan.
In this video, we will tell you everything you need to know about this recently introduced superhero who starred as the main character. There will be some huge spoilers along the road as we delve deep into the film and examine all the mythology behind Samaritan and his fiercest foe Nemesis.
Return of the Saviour of Granite City – Plot Explained
A little animated flashback that opens the film serves as a kind of preamble to the subsequent events. Granite City, a made-up town, once had a guardian in the form of Samaritan the superhero. Ironically, his own brother, the supervillain known as Nemesis, who had a tremendous animosity toward Samaritan, posed the biggest threat to him.
It all came down to a brutal clash between them in the city’s power plant, where they engaged in a competition of historic proportions. Samaritan had been drawn in by Nemesis because he had crafted a unique hammer that was fueled by all of his hatred. The invincible superhero might have been killed by it, but the scheme fell through. According to legend, a huge explosion claimed the lives of both Samaritan and Nemesis, and neither was ever seen or heard from again.
Back in the present, we encounter Sam Cleary, a street-smart thirteen-year-old boy who seems a little older than his years. He frequently engages in specific activities to earn money quickly to help his struggling mother, who lives with him. He gets a big opportunity when he meets a young man named Reza who leads a gang of thugs. They assign him with a task to distract the owner of a store while they rob it, and Sam goes ahead with his part perfectly.
However, Reza and his gang mess things up by picking the wrong boxes, and they try to blame it on Sam in front of their boss Cyrus. This is the actual leader of the gang, and the man likes the feisty nature and courage that he sees in the young boy. He gives him some extra money, which soon comes in handy when Sam’s mother is threatened with eviction from her apartment for failing to pay the rent. She is worried that Sam might be doing things for money that will have a nasty consequence, but there isn’t much she can do given their financial situation.
Meanwhile, Sam was always curious about one of their neighbors, an old man named Joe Smith, who seems rather well-built for his age. He picks up the garbage and often retrieves broken items from the bin only to restore them. Young Sam was also obsessed with the superhero stories around Samaritan. He believed that Samaritan didn’t die in the explosion, and he kept trying to find the real superhero around him. One day Reza and his fellow thugs attack Sam for refusing to take the blame in front of Cyrus.
Joe watches from a bus as they chase Sam, and somewhere, the old man had developed a soft corner for the kid. He jumps in to help, and Sam watches in awe as he effortlessly takes down Reza and his thugs. The ease with which he tackles the men makes Sam wonder if he is the real Samaritan. In a final move, when Reza tries to stab Joe, he simply crushes the metal knife with his bare hands. Sam watches with a binocular for a closer observation, and he watches Joe from his window and finds out that his back bears scars that look like burn-marks.
This makes him further convinced about Joe Smith’s secret identity, and he decides to sneak into his apartment in his absence. The plan works and inside Joe’s cupboard, Sam finds a scrapbook with too many cuttings of crime related news, and articles related to Samaritan and Nemesis. He takes it home because it has all the evidence to suggest that his suspicions were true all along and Joe is indeed the Samaritan.
On the other hand, we get to see what Cyrus is really up to. It is clear that he is not some small-time criminal and he has some big plans ahead of him. He intends to plunge the city into anarchy and darkness, and he managed to get hold of some special bombs used by the army. These bombs can take out all forms of electricity in the nearby locality and plunge it into absolute darkness.
They grab this from a secured location, where the supernatural hammer forged by Nemesis was also stored. Cyrus grabs the hammer and realizes the super-strength associated with the weapon. It turns out that Cyrus has always been a fan of Nemesis. He believes that Nemesis protected the poor and only lashed out at the corrupt and the rich, while Samaritan was more of a cop for the privileged.
Now that Nemesis is gone, he intends to finish off what he had started all those years ago. He proclaims himself as the new Nemesis and invites all the scum and criminals of the city to join him. The system collapses as Cyrus and his followers unleash anarchy and riots all over the place. Law and order is crushed, and it seems like all hope is lost for Granite City.
At this point, we cannot hope but draw parallels with Gotham City and Granite City. Also, the mannerisms and intentions of Cyrus will remind you of the Joker and how he always wanted chaos and anarchy to prevail. Cyrus also has the psychotic laugh and so far, it is almost like he is the Joker in a world without any Batman to protect it. Back at Sam’s apartment, Joe pays a visit because it doesn’t take him long to figure out that the kid took his scrapbook. Sam doesn’t deny it and slyly mentions how he is actually a fan.
He confronts Joe on the streets, but the old man keeps denying his actual identity. Suddenly, Reza and his men hit him with their car at full speed as revenge for the beating that they got the other day. It is a severe impact and no human could possibly survive such a crash. However, a shocked Sam watches in amazement as Joe’s body heals itself. The broken bones get back in place, and the bruises are patched up miraculously. It is the final nail in the coffin, and by now, Sam is utterly convinced about Joe’s superpowers.
Even Joe cannot deny it this time around, and he tells Sam a little more about his healing powers. Apparently, whenever he has to make use of the healing powers, his body heats up unnaturally. He runs the risk of his heart exploding unless he immediately cools off somehow. Sam promises to keep it a secret, and the two develop an adorable bond – a friendship between a lonely old man and a young boy who believes in him more than himself.
However, the city continues to decay and go down the drain and Sam still needs to make money on the side. Cyrus ropes him in to work for his gang and Sam is not yet aware of the extent of their devastating operations. It is an eye-opener for him when he watches Cyrus shoot a cop without batting an eyelid. He is all the more disturbed when he hears about the real plans of the group and their extremely violent activities.
As he sneaks out of the compound, probably heading to break the news to Joe, Sam finds his friend being beaten up by Reza and his fellow thugs. Remembering his training with Joe, Sam jumps in to protect his friend, but fails to run away. He gets beaten up and is dumped in front of Joe’s apartment. Reza and the others run away when they find that Joe is absolutely fine and he takes Sam to the hospital. When Cyrus’ gang-members find out that Joe, the man they ran over with a car at full speed is alive and kicking without a shred of injury, Cyrus realizes that there might be some truth to the rare rumors that suggest that Samaritan is still alive.
He sends his best men to take down the superhero, and they track him down to a narrow lane only to get bashed and bruised. But this time, a little girl was witness to the whole attack. She follows him to the main road, where several other people are gathered, and when one of the bombs goes off, Joe uses a car as a shield to protect the young girl. This incident is filmed and broadcast as people celebrate that there is a superpower still out there, and Samaritan can protect them all in this darkest hour.
When Sam heals from his injuries, he runs to Joe, delighted about how he saved the young girl. He also tells Joe all about Cyrus’ plans with the power station and plunging the entire city into darkness. However, Joe doesn’t want any part in it much to the disappointment of the young boy. He always wished for his favorite superhero to be back in action, and this kind of reaction from Joe makes him leave in anger.
But fate has something else in store for them. It doesn’t take long for Cyrus to figure out that Joe is actually Samaritan and he also realizes the special attachment that he shares with Sam. He and his men go after the young boy and kidnap him only to lure Samaritan out. After 23 years of silence, Cyrus finally has the opportunity to settle scores! At the same time, he will also get to turn Graphite City into a criminal empire like he always wanted.
As expected, Joe rushes to save his young friend, and a deadly fight breaks out between him and the members of Cyrus’ gang. The superhero might have become old, but he still packs quite a punch, and people fall by the dozen. The power station catches fire just like it happened all those years ago, and the final showdown is between Joe and Cyrus who is powered by the special hammer.
Joe takes quite a beating, but eventually, the fight has the same outcome as before, and Cyrus is thrown down into a ball of fire. But, a crucial twist is revealed towards the end, where we learn that Joe isn’t actually Samaritan, but Nemesis. His brother had died in their deadly duel, but the outcome changed his heart. He rejected the path of evil, and stayed in the shadows for all these years. Now, he has saved Sam, but with all the healing abilities used up his body gets so heated that his heart is almost about to explode.
In the nick of time, Sam breaks free and breaks open a fire hydrant that sprays him with water to cool off. They both manage to escape from the building, which is up in flames. As Joe walks away, he watches Sam excitedly telling the reporters outside that Samaritan saved him. Clearly, even after knowing everything, Sam felt that Nemesis now has a complete change of heart and people don’t need to know the past. The years of guilt and accountability for his actions changed him into a superhero, and he saved Granite City just like his brother would have if he was alive! All’s well that ends well, and this one has the happiest possible ending that you could imagine!
Samaritan and Nemesis – their origins and powers explored
As we have discussed before, Samaritan and Nemesis were brothers who were born with certain superpowers. However, over the years the former used his powers to fight evil, while Nemesis became a dreaded villain. He also nurtured a strong hate for his brother and planned something that would put an end to Samaritan. He crafted a special hammer that was forged from his hate, and it was the only thing that could mortally injure Samaritan.
All this happened 25 years before the events of the movie, and the fateful encounter saw both of them missing in action ever since. Everyone assumed that they both died, but a little into the movie you start to believe that Samaritan still lives. It is only at the end that the twist reveals the real outcome of the duel, and we learn that Nemesis has had a change of heart.
In terms of their special powers, both Nemesis and Samaritan seemed evenly matched. With the superpowered hammer, Nemesis had the edge in their final duel, but the extent of their superpower was almost similar. We see Nemesis in action quite a bit, when Joe takes on the thugs and finally has the epic encounter with Cyrus. He had the gift of super-strength and he could take down men by the dozens. In one of the scenes, he told Sam that one time he fought a hundred men together. He also had incredible healing ability, and he could recover from the most fatal injuries. However, the healing took a toll on his body and it started to overheat. He needed a quick shower and loads of ice cream to cool him down, or else his heart would explode.
The real villain in the story, Cyrus, didn’t have any superpowers, but when he possessed the special hammer, he did have the power to kill Nemesis. It took some assistance from the kid to save his life, and Cyrus could be put away forever, Besides, Cyrus also had this unpredictable side to his character, which made him so dangerous.
It was established in the movie that he developed into a notorious criminal after a very hard life, and he thrived in chaos and anarchy. He idolized Nemesis for all the stories he heard, but when he learned that Joe was actually Nemesis and not Samaritan it did not impact him. He realized that Nemesis had turned to his good side, and Cyrus still wanted to go ahead with his plans of laying the city to ruins.
The narrative is nicely balanced between the forces of good and evil, and characters like Samaritan, Nemesis, and Cyrus, along with some brilliant actors make for a power-packed performance.
Can there be a sequel?
The climax of the movie leaves enough room for a follow-up story and hence, the possibility of a sequel cannot be ruled out. Nemesis or Joe is now officially a protector, and Granite City might encounter serious threats in the future again that will require his intervention. It is shown that he walks away after saving the day for the city, but he could always continue fighting crime dressed up as Samaritan.
Of course, a lot is dependent on the performance of the movie and the reception from the audience. It must also be taken into account that Sylvester Stallone is seventy-six years old, and it will be another challenge for his body to cope with the stress of filming an action-packed drama as a protagonist. It is too early to make a sweeping statement about a sequel, but Sylvester Stallone fans would certainly love to see him back in action one more time.
Marvelous Verdict: A Brave Effort that is creatively lacking!
Even the most hardcore fans of the action star will have to agree that there wasn’t enough real substance in the movie apart from the obvious star power of Sylvester Stallone. The man is still solid like a rock, delivering his one-liners and punchlines with precision and performing some rather tricky stunts by himself. However, the problem lies with the basic storyline, which hardly offers something unique.
A man who gave up on the world finding a reason to fight the evil forces is a far too used up concept, and the plot majorly thrives on this familiar theme. Cyrus as a villain is charming, but the rationale behind his actions leaves much to be desired.
The plucky, precocious kid who inspires the superhero to rise again is adorable and credit is due for child actor Javon Walton. Also, on the brighter side, the movie does embrace the cheesy and goofy side of the 80s and 90s action flicks, and it might be worth watching purely for the enjoyment factor.
Overall, Samaritan might not be the movie that will blow your mind, but it isn’t wise to miss out on a Sylvester Stallone return, that too in a character that he plays best! Do let us know in the comments below about your thoughts on the movie, and also tell us what you think about the chances of Samaritan making a return through a future project.