Well yeah…I don’t know what to say about this movie. I remember reading Will Eisner’s Golden Age comic and really enjoyed this cult hero in the comic book world, kind of Batman like in a weird way, but also with some wonderful levity to his character. You could liken The Spirit to Dick Tracy in a sense that they have that wonderful pulp feel to the proceedings. A fantastic comic series that you should pick up and read. But if you want to take the cliff notes approach to the series, Frank Miller’s version is pretty much a knock-off cliff notes version of The Spirit. So if you were take a quiz on this movie from a fan of the series, you would fail and probably be bullied for the rest of your life. Nerd cred revoked.
A resurrected cop does battle with a villain whose quest for immortality threatens an entire metropolis in Sin City creator Frank Miller’s adaptation of Will Eisner’s acclaimed graphic novel. When a rookie cop is brutally killed and mysteriously brought back to life, he assumes the guise of The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) — a masked crime fighter who prowls the shadows of Central City on a supernatural mission to keep the urban landscape safe. Upon discovering that his arch nemesis, The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), is determined to live forever even if it means wiping out the entire population of Central City, The Spirit must race to stop the diabolical villain from achieving his cold-blooded plan. But even with his unique powers, the brave masked crusader will face a series of deadly challenges as a bevy of treacherous beauties including deceptively sweet girl next door Ellen Dolan (Sarah Paulson), spitfire secretary Silken Floss (Scarlett Johansson), wraithlike siren Lorelei (Jaime King), seductive policewoman Morgenstern (Stana Katic), and French black widow Plaster of Paris (Paz Vega) set out to seduce or consume him at every turn; even The Spirit’s one true love, a volatile jewel thief named Sand Saref (Eva Mendes), could ultimately destroy our hero before he accomplishes his mission of saving Central City. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Listen, I love Frank Miller. He has certainly made a name for himself in the realm of comics and some of his early work is incredible. There is no doubt that when he is working within a franchise, he is phenomenal in elevating that character and stories to the next level. But that doesn’t mean he is without fault and The Spirit is pretty much a failure on all accounts. This movie bares no resemblance to anything…ANYTHING of Will Eisner’s creation. Miller basically creates a movie for himself, one where he can relive his experiences with Sin City style filmmaking and basically play dress-up with Hollywood starlets and nothing else.
That’s all this movie is, a wet dream of vampy looking vixens in some state of undress and nothing more. Such ample shots of sexy looking starlets doesn’t not a movie make. Miller basically made a clone of Sin City, but just wanted to do more with the stripper/hooker part of Sin City, so he just transplanted to The Spirit and slapped together the least pleasurable movie out there. The dialog is horrible, nothing more than non-witty puns and hammy lines. The sexual innuendos are laid on thick and limp cause Miller just, I don’t know, wanted to give his vixens something to say. The acting is not even in the hammy department of being bad but good, even with Sam Jackson putting in a weird ass performance. The spirit of the movie is just not there, merely window dressing for the heavy shaded movie. It’s all a veneer of something that should be good, but the visuals doesn’t match the acting.
I really don’t get this movie or even what the point of the story was. I think I was more transfixed on the massive amount of slow motions scenes of the women walking while their dress blows in the wind, women rising out of the water, women cover themselves up, and women walking where there is constant wind going on. Miller just made himself a stroke film and thought that everyone else would enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy looking at Paz Vega, Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson, but you got to give me something other than them in revealing outfits, especially if it’s a comic book movie.
This is just a horrible exercise in self masturbatory directing. Frank Miller made a terribly uninteresting comic book movie that was meant for him only and no one else. The story is jilted, the acting is not even hammy enough to enjoy and the whole movie is a fantasy come to life for Miller. You don’t get to know anything about The Spirit or the world that he is defending, as apparent by my lack of talking about it in this review. That is how much time is spent on the source material. What a slap in the face of Will Eisner.