"When you doubt your powers, you give power to your doubts."
I'm joined by the mysterious and manly Andy from Geek Salad to discuss whoever smelled it dealt it, disco not being dead and clouds of radically fluctuating deviant chaotrons.
With a huge and established cast of great 90s comedians and character actors as the Six Very Nearly Dead Guys With a Temporary Reprieve, 1999's Mystery Men had everything going for it. It was smart, daft and funny, it commented on capitalism and superhero cynicism but also came out well before the superhero genre boomed. In many ways, it was a movie before its time. Roughly 15 years before its time.
It also had the unfortunate experience of coming out in the same day in America as The Sixth Sense, which dominated the box office, leaving Mystery Men feeling like the Invisible Boy at most cinemas. It also feels very reminiscent of Joel Schumacher's Batman movies, with a bright colour palette and vibrant neon CG cityscapes. Not the most pleasant comparison in the world to make, but a comparison it is.
In the modern era of superhero movies dominating the box office, as well as all the merchandising and branding, it's refreshing to see a movie tackle the "other guys" and the fact that they are just everyday normal people, trying their best to be exceptional and to do the right thing. Everyone loves an underdog story. These are the forking biggest underdogs. No need to Shovel it in your face. I don't want to make you Furious.
Will we ever find out if Lance Hunt and Captain Amazing are the same person? Lance Hunt wears glasses you see, and Captain Amazing doesn't, so it's really tricky to tell if those rumours are true....
Slight mistake in the episode: Janeane Garofalo's character is called Carol, not Karen! Ooops. Don't set Carmine the Bowler on me, please!
I would love to hear your thoughts on Mystery Men! You can get in touch on
or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:
verbaldiorama [at] gmail [dot] com
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My website is at https://verbaldiorama.com
Thanks to the following for their contributions to this episode:
Andy, from Geek Salad, obviously! He can be found over @geeksaladradio on Twitter and he's an absolute joy!
Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song
Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook
Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)
Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.
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