The characters have been designed to make fun of themselves, disguising the craft of writer Neil Cuthbert and director Kinka Usher in getting us to laugh at them.
Usher's amiable spoof of superhero movies takes a brave stab at rewriting the mythology from the inside out, with lots of witty, mildly subversive stuff.
Mystery Men is like its hapless heroes. It's a wannabe that has the best intentions -- including a pronounced anti-gun stance -- but none of the knack it takes to save the day, or itself.
This bunch achieves peaks of sublime nuttiness.
| Original Score: 4/4
Surprisingly, this spoof's heart is genuinely warm.
| Original Score: 3/4
A funny, funky superhero spoof with an amusing premise, a lot of clever gags and a super-hip cast.
A kiddie-level clunker!
Could use a little more brain, and a little less spleen.
This year's The Avengers.
Stretched far too thin for its meager plot, broad characters and lame running jokes.
An overproduced summer bombast.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Once the team is assembled, Mystery Men kicks into high gear, with a steady blast of sophomoric humor that rarely lets up.
This droopy action comedy saps Hollywood's best comic actors of their superpowers.
Call Mystery Men a sketchbook in search of a movie; it's still a super idea in a summer of flackery.
| Original Score: B-
All of the technical credits are first-rate!
A long, shapeless, undisciplined mess!
| Original Score: 2/4
Formulaic but fun!
A loud, frenetic, fitfully witty spoof of super-hero sagas.
Mystery Men begins terrifically, then dwindles away to overextended ordinariness in its action sequences.
Hip and consistently funny!
A good example of what happens when a movie becomes what it should be jabbing.
A snarky, wise-cracking spoof!
It's the details that make Mystery Men such a goofy good time!
An effort you end up admiring more than completely loving.
A refreshing, oddball summer entertainment with a sharp sense of humor.
Mystery Men isn't just clever - it's genuinely funny, as well!