Loony Men

Mystery Men

Garofalo is partnered well with Ben Stiller, whom many people tend to loathe but who possesses a deft sense of comic timing. (Look at him in Zero Effect.) Macy is his usual, consistent self, and it is fun watching Kinnear reveal the superior, self-serving prick hidden within every superhero utterance. Still, the funniest moment in the picture belongs to Azaria when he explains why his superhero character's name is the Blue Raja, despite the fact that his superhero costume contains not even the slightest trace of blue. That moment -- as well as the one where the heroes come together in a huddle and break with a rowdy Sei gesund! (Be healthy!) -- takes us instantly to comedy nirvana.

The only real disappointments in the cast are Rush, who is not only miscast but who also seems to be trying to play Frankenstein as if he were Alan Rickman (which unfortunately he is not), and Claire Forlani, who hasn't yet snapped out of the trance she fell into while starring opposite Brad Pitt as Death in Meet Joe Black.

Champion City's finest: Macy, Stiller, and Azaria
Champion City's finest: Macy, Stiller, and Azaria

Usher comes to feature-filmmaking from commercials and doesn't much express himself one way or the other throughout the film. What he does especially well is stay out of the way of his actors. He also hasn't allowed the guys in charge of special effects to take over. As a result the picture remains a comedy, not a pageant of effects with jokes sprinkled over.

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