Making the Grades
Superhero Captain Amazing's (Greg Kinnear) corporate sponsors are upset. Amazing has caught every crook in Champion City, leaving him with nothing to do and no reason to be out in public displaying the real-life company logos plastered all over his outfit. To solve the problem, Amazing arranges to have the notorious Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush) released on parole, so he will have someone his own size to pick on.
But there are other superheroes in Champion City. Hard laboring blue-collar workers by day, at night they yield - or at least claim to - amazing powers. Eddie (William Macy) is The Shoveler, a family man who really digs life. His friend Jeffrey (Hank Azaria) is dangerous with tabletop cutlery and goes by the alias of The Blue Raja. And ringleader Roy (Ben Stiller) is a junkyard worker known as Mr. Furious after sundown due to his ability to get angry in a big way.
When the threesome hear that Amazing has tripped over his ego, and has been captured by Casanova, they see an opportunity to get some TV news exposure by rescuing Amazing. But after a bad experience with Casanova and his Disco friends, they start a recruiting program hoping to find other superheroes willing to team up with them. An overly long sequence of sifting through hero wannabes follows. Their final selections: A woman with a deadly bowling ball, a teen boy who can turn invisible (but only if you don't look at him), and a man whose flatulence problem can flatten the toughest crooks.
The premise of "ordinary" people with human frailties and family members that can't understand why the are working the night shift as superheroes, should be funny. However, director Kinka Usher's decision to not work with a tightly constructed script has resulted in a movie that has little sense of direction or coherence.
With typical cartoon-like violence, some sexual innuendo with near-nudity, and superheroes that have a tendency to get drunk when life gets them down, this movie offers anything but super role models and little humor that children will appreciate.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Mystery Men.
Why are many “superhero” movies filmed in dark locations and at night? How would more daylight scenes affect the mood of this movie?