MYSTERY MEN

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JULY 5, 2013

“Mystery Men” is a fully functional superhero spoof with an above average, comedic cast and a Burton-esque view of a city’s underbelly. Ben Stiller leads the ragtag gang of misfits with “special powers,” including wielding a shovel, throwing forks, and flatulence. No one stands out, no one really has a chance to shine, and you could probably think of a handful of better actors that could have knocked these parts out of the park. Instead, we have a completely average action-comedy with a self-aware abuse of the genre and a tongue-in-cheek demeanor. Catapulting the song “All-Star” by Smash Mouth, that’s about the most memorable element to come out of this film, including a quick but humorous cameo by Dane Cook.

RELEASE DATE
August 6, 1999

DIRECTOR
Kinka Usher

WRITTEN BY
Neil Cuthbert

BASED ON
“Flaming Carrot Comics”
by Bob Burden

STUDIO
Universal Pictures

PG-13
(for comic action violence and crude humor)

ACTION
COMEDY
FANTASY
SCI-FI

121 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Stephen H. Burum

COMPOSER
Stephen Warbeck

EDITOR
Conrad Buff

CAST
Ben Stiller
Hank Azaria
William H. Macy
Greg Kinnear
Janeane Garofalo
Paul Reubens
Kel Mitchell
Wes Studi
Geoffrey Rush
Lena Olin
Eddie Izzard
Claire Forlani
Tom Waits

PRODUCED BY
Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Mike Richardson

BUDGET
$68 million

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