The 1999 movie “Mystery Men” tells of the story of a group of loser amateur superheroes who overcome their ineptitude to win the day. The Shoveler (William H. Macy) uses a shovel and small hand trowels as weapons. Speaking in an effete British accent, the Blue Raja (Hank Azaria) throws spoons and forks with unerring accuracy. Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller) uses his anger to motivate him, sort of like the Hulk but without the super strength. The power of the Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell) is, as his name suggests, to turn invisible, but only if no one is looking at him. The Spleen’s (Paul Rubens) power is that of extra-potent, unconsciousness-inducing flatulence.
My favorite character is the scene-stealing Bowler (Janeane Garafolo). She carries with her a clear bowling ball with her dead father’s skull and spirit encased within. With tremendous force the ball flies through the air bludgeoning all in its path and then flies back to her after hitting its target. It’s a kick watching her have a dysfunctional, one-sided “discussion” with her dad.
In the end the Bowler throws the ball into villain Casanova Frankenstein’s (Geoffrey Rush) deadly machine, which is set to destroy the fictional Champion City. The ball does its job but is seemingly destroyed in the process.
But was it? I was recently in the Bowling Outfitters pro shop at the Pacific Avenue Bowl in Stockton, and there among the used bowling balls for sale was a clear ball with a skull at its heart. Hmmmm.