For me, Mystery Men is one of those movies.
I remember seeing Mystery Men when it first hit DVD and really enjoying it. I thought it was pretty funny at the time. Now, not so much.
The premise is a little funny; inept, lesser “superheroes” have to ride in and save the day after the city’s internationally known superhero goes missing.
I Netflixed this for a bit of familiarity before I start on this epic series of Reader’s Choice and now I feel…disappointed. What should’ve been a nice palate cleanser turned out to suck. It’s not that Mystery Men can’t be funny; rather, Mystery Men takes a handful of funny jokes and throwaways and runs them ragged making an entire movie out of them. Too often the same bits are repeatedly continuously throughout the movie.
There’s something exceptionally off about Janeane Garofalo and I can’t figure out what it is. I loved her in Wet, Hot American Summer but in this one I just found her to be the grown up version of Daria. Ben Stiller and the rest of this crew (including Paul Reubens, Jesus) are completely unfunny. The one saving grace is William H. Macy as the Shoveler, who plays his role pretty honestly and therefore carries scenes through rougher patches.
Dude, even flipping Geoffrey Rush is awful in this. And it makes me cry sad tears that Eddie Izzard is in this (oh, Eddie, why?) as a disco-obsessed villain. Greg Kinnear as Captain Amazing might have as well stuck a sign around his neck that said “DOING IT FOR THE PAYCHECK” because he obviously doesn’t care much. He just looks lazy throughout the entire thing.
And after wasting that time, I wish I had left Mystery Men back on the proverbial shelf, right where it belongs.