In 1999, the film of the year was a sure thing, dozens of celebrities were signed on, and everyone was talking about it. When it came out, however, it completely flopped, and to an extent, I agree with the fate given to 'Mystery Men'.
In order to generate more endorsement revenue, Champion City's resident superhero Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear) arranges for the release of supervillian Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush), only to be captured by him. The city's fate rests in the hands of seven loser superhero wannabes: the fork-flinging Blue Rajah (Hank Azaria), the shovel-wielding Shoveler (William H Macy), the posessed bowling ball-hurling Bowler (Janeane Garofolo), the flatulent Spleen (Paul Reubens), the only-when-nobody's-looking Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell), the mysterious Sphinx (Wes Studi), and the perpetually-angry Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller).
The best parts of the film comes from the comedy. A lot of the stars in it have a history in stand-up or sketch comedy and so have very good comic timing, and are very skilled in ad-libbing. Unfortunately, this does mean that some of the more heavily scripted scenes feel a bit flat. Obviously a scene that needs to stick to the script is likely to have important plot points in it, and so the flatness of those scenes make the whole plot feel fairly redundant.
It's still worth seeing just for a good few jokes, and Tom Waits reading his lines off his fingers.
VERDICT - I DON'T NEED A COMPASS TO KNOW WHICH WAY THE WIND SHINES.