Mystery Men (1999)

mystery men poster 1999 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Clever dialogue, great cast

Hard for some audiences to connect with, not much of a plot within the clever dialogue

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mystery Men

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Comedy/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  July 30, 1999

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Lets dispense some justice, Mystery Men style!

Champion City is world filled with heroes.  The biggest hero is Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear) with his secret identity of Lance Hunt.  When Hunt gets his super-villain nemesis Cassanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush) freed from prison as publicity for Amazing, Cassanova Frankenstein captures Captain Amazing and sets to destroy the world with the Pscyho-frakulator.  When a group of heroes learn of Amazing’s capture, Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller), The Shoveler (William H. Macy), The Blue Raja (Hank Azaria), Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell), The Spleen (Paul Reubens), The Bowler (Janeane Garofalo), and The Sphinx (Wes Studi) might be the only force who can stop Frankenstein and his allies the Tony P. (Eddie Izzard) and Tony C. (Prakazrel Michel aka Pras of the Fugees) of the Disco Boys.


Meet my dad

Directed by Kinka Usher, Mystery Men took characters from Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot Comics as its basis (barely any characters really resembled the characters presented in the film).  The movie received mixed to positive views.  The movie bombed at the box office but quickly gained a cult following.

Mystery Men doesn’t take itself seriously…at all.  The movie is a post-modern look at super-heroes with a very reflexive take on the idea of super-heroes.  It gets into the idea if super-heroes are just lucky or if they actually have any skills in addition to their powers.  The Mystery Men team is a joke.  Some of the characters really don’t even have powers while others powers work in theory (or they could just have disgusting powers like Paul Reubens’ Spleen character) .  It is this plus genre bending characters which draw from all time periods (like the Disco Boys) which makes the movie kind of smart.  The clever script really plays on this idea and is filled with one liners that become very quotable.


It’s going to be a Disco Inferno in here!

The movie is just full of great actors.  Stiller’s Mr. Furious is one of my favorite of his characters and he of course works well with Janeane Garofalo who is the female version of him.  William H. Macy and Hank Azaria play off each other well as the only people who can deal with Furious.  Wes Studi who played the evil Magua in Last of the Mohicans does a great job as the mentor Sphinx who just talks in circles like Yoda.  Kel Mitchell’s excitement as Invisible Boy makes up for the fact he may or may not have powers.  The movie also has a ton of fun small roles and cameos including Ricky Jay (as Amazing’s publicist), Tom Waits (as the inventor Dr. Heller), Claire Forlani (as Furious’ possible love interest), Dane Cook (as the Waffler), Doug Jones (as Pencil Head), Dana Gould (as Squeegee Man), Cee Lo Green (as a member of the Not-So-Goodie Mob), Riki Rachtmas (as a frat boy), and Michael Bay (as a frat boy)…sadly this is better than most stuff Michael Bay does.

Mystery Men is fun.  It is pretty smart, looks nice, and watchable since it is full of fun moments and dialogue.  That doesn’t mean that it is the best movie ever, but it does grow on you.  If you don’t enjoy Mystery Men, Mr. Furious might go Pompeii on your butt.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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