Amazon Original Movie “Samaritan” (2022) stars Sylvester Stallone as Joe Smith  – a live-action adaptation based on the 2014 comic book of the same name. While I have personally enjoyed a good dose of Sylvester Stallone movies in the past (thanks to the fond memories of me and my brother enacting Rocky Balboa’s training montages), “Samaritan” is full of badly choreographed action scenes and poorly written dialogues that are major mood killers for action movie fanatics.

The quality of the movie aside, in the following article, I dive deep into the plot of “Samaritan” and look at the ending, piecing together everything that went down. Please be aware of spoilers and read them at your own discretion.

Samaritan (2022) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

“Samaritan” revolves around a thirteen-year-old kid named Sam (Javon Walton, who played Ash in the HBO television series “Euphoria”). He lives with his mother, Tiffany (Dascha Polanco from “Orange is the New Black”), a nurse trying to make ends meet. Constantly updated with the news about Granite City, he is on a quest to find out if there is any truth behind the legendary tale of twin brothers/superheroes—Samaritan and Nemesis.

One day, Sam notices eviction papers left by his apartment and the door sealed. While waiting outside for his mother, his friend bullies him and coerces him into making easy money. The idea of earning quick cash excites Sam. Therefore, he visits an old junkyard owned by Cyrus – the leader of the local thugs and goons. He gets rewarded by Cyrus for not snitching on his people after a local burglary goes wrong. When Cyrus goes through his scrapbook, which has a lot of references and drawings of the twins, he explains why he likes the evil brother Nemesis over the good one.

In the meantime, Joe Smith, an old garbage man, catches the attention of Sam with his odd behavior of picking up broken appliances from the trash can and fixing them. Curious to find out more about this man, Sam follows him everywhere. One day, while Joe is out for his business, the young boy breaks into his house and goes through his journal, only to find out that the old man is the Samaritan. Thrilled to find this information, he follows and pesters Joe to know more about him. However, the man of few words that he is, Joe, doesn’t reveal much and carries on with his life.

One day, when Sam gets punched up by Reza and his goons, Joe comes to his rescue and beats them back. Witnessing that Joe is not a cold person like he assumed,  he instantly befriends him and the two of them spend more time together as Sam gets to know him better.

On the other hand, Granite City is dying due to unemployment and poverty. City people are slowly succumbing to the cost of living, and it has become impossible to survive with the rising crime rate. Cyrus is taking advantage of the city’s ongoing situation. He builds an army of people, brainwashing them with his selfish propaganda and telling lies that he will save them from their sufferings.

The movie also shows us a flashback to when the two superheroes or the twin brothers get into a war. While growing up, the twins were indestructible, and the townspeople grew to fear them. One day, the people set their house on fire, killing the twin’s parents. While the good brother grew up to become a Samaritan, the other eventually gave in to his vengeance. He started planting bombs throughout the city to avenge his grief and also kill his brother with it. Even though the legendary story around them lets people believe that two brothers died in the blast, the film has more to say.

Pilou Asbæk (left) as Cyrus and Moisés Arias (right) as Reza in SAMARITAN, directed by Julius Avery, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Moving ahead in the film, we see Cyrus steal the Nemesis mask and the hammer the superhero forged to fight his brother. With the weapon’s power and the city people’s mass following, Cyrus ignites an uprising which is his way to slowly destroy the city.

At the same time, on account of earning another round of quick cash, Cyrus approaches Sam and offers him a job. However, Sam, who has been unbiased about Cyrus all this time, soon learns about his real motive when he sees him kill a cop who snitched on him.

After witnessing the crime, Sam runs away and finds Reza and his partners troubling his friend Jace over some money. Adamant to stand up against the thugs, the young kid gets beaten up badly by them. While leaving Sam in front of his building, Reza notices that the older man he had run over with his car is still alive. Confident that the man is Samaritan, he quickly rushes to Cyrus to report the news.

While the city is chanting the news of Nemesis’s comeback, everyone suspects that Samaritan is alive, too. Displeased with the threatening announcement, Cyrus demands to meet Joe and sends his local goons to bring him in. However, have you ever seen the film’s hero getting bogged down by the secondary goons?

No sire! After fighting off those hooligans who came to take him to their leader, Joe is exposed to the world as the Samaritan. Someone who saves people from everyday adversities. At this point in the film, we are introduced to Sylvester Stallone as the noble superhero, Samaritan, living an exile life for the last 25 years.

Knowing that Joe Smith, a.k.a Samaritan, can save the city, Sam warns him about Cyrus’s evil plans. However, Joe doesn’t want to be part of anything related to saving the city. Upset with his decision to leave the city, Sam barges into Joe’s apartment to get the watch that he said he would fix. Simultaneously, we see Cyrus getting furious to see how things are out of order. Not finding Joe at his apartment, he takes Sam with him as a captive instead.

Is Sylvester Stallone’s Joe Smith a good man?

After thinking things through and with a change of heart, Joe returns to Sam’s apartment, only to find Sam’s mother lying on the floor. He discovers that Cyrus has taken him hostage. Enraged about the well-being of his new friend, Joe finally decides to fight back and head to the headquarters where Cyrus and his goons have taken Sam.

In my opinion, at this point, the film felt flat with its ‘Rambo-Rocky Balboa’ sucker-punch action as Joe Smith fights everyone who came forward to stop him from screwing Cyrus’s plan. Wearing Nemesis’s mask and holding the superhero’s hammer, Cyrus repeatedly mocks Joe, calling him the good man, Samaritan.

However, the film makes a quick detour. It takes us to a flashback of the fight sequence between the Samaritan and Nemesis, revealing to us in a twist that Sylvester Stallon’s Joe Smith is actually Nemesis, the evil (bad) twin of the two.

Samaritan (2022) Explained
Javon “Wanna” Walton (left) as Sam Cleary and Sylvester Stallone (right) as Joe Smith in SAMARITAN, directed by Julius Avery, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

As Cyrus lifts the hammer to hit Joe with it, the latter holds it up, admitting that he is, after all, the evil brother everyone considers dead. Astounded by this impossible revelation (because Nemesis has always been his hero figure), Cyrus declares everyone to kill Joe.

While we witness Joe in a poorly choreographed fighting scene, trying to get past all the goons, Cyrus kidnaps Sam to lure Joe (a similar sequence happened 25 years ago when Nemesis lured Samaritan into a fight.) While his followers take on the city, destroying everything, Cyrus now emerges as the new Nemesis, wearing his helmet and waiting for Joe to fight him one-on-one.

Samaritan (2022) Movie Ending, Explained:

The ending of “Samaritan” brings a perfect opportunity for Joe, or the actual Nemesis, to make amends for his actions, i.e., for killing his brother many years ago. We can see that Nemesis has been hiding from the world in guilt, and he can easily redeem himself by saving Cyrus. However, as much as the movie tries to make us believe that Nemesis is a changed man, we further see him killing Cyrus by throwing him into the fire.

When Sam questions him why he killed Cyrus, Joe replies that getting rid of bad people for doing bad things is easier. However, the truth is to make the right choice by following one’s heart because everyone has good and evil in them. Realizing the reality that Joe mentioned in an interview later, Sam declares that it was the Samaritan who showed up and saved him from the evil goons. Watching Sam from the other side as an audience member, Joe walks away from the people, leaving us wondering if there would be another story to redeem Nemesis now.

Read More: Look Both Ways Movie Ending, Explained

Samaritan Trailer

Samaritan (2022) Movie Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Samaritan (2022) Movie Cast – Sylvester Stallone, Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton, Pilou Asbæk, Dascha Polanco, Sophia Tatum, Moises Arias
Where to watch Samaritan

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