Adapted from the legendary comic strip, THE SPIRIT is a classic action-adventure-romance told by genre-twister FRANK MILLER (creator of 300 and SIN CITY). It is the story of a former rookie cop who returns mysteriously from the dead as the SPIRIT (Gabriel Macht) to fight crime from the shadows of Central City.
His arch-enemy, the OCTOPUS (Samuel L. Jackson) has a different mission: he’s going to wipe out Spirit’s beloved city as he pursues his own version of immortality. The Spirit tracks this cold-hearted killer from Central City’s rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront … all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill our masked crusader.
Surrounding him at every turn are ELLEN DOLAN (Sarah Paulson), the whip-smart-girl-next-door; SILKEN FLOSS (Scarlett Johansson), a punk secretary and frigid vixen; PLASTER OF PARIS (Paz Vega), a murderous French nightclub dancer; LORELEI (Jaime King), a phantom siren; and MORGENSTERN (Stana Katic), a sexy young cop.
Then of course, there’s SAND SAREF (Eva Mendes), the jewel thief with dangerous curves. She’s the love of his life turned bad. Will he save her or will she kill him?
In the vein of BATMAN BEGINS and SIN CITY, THE SPIRIT takes us on a sinister, gut-wrenching ride with a hero who is born, murdered and born again.
Fanboys – they are a powerful species of audiences who play an important role in popular culture. The movies fanboys love, they will go down movie history as important icons which must be watched if you want to be certified true movie buffs. Mention movies like Sin City (2005) and 300 (2006), and you’d find many fanboys quoting characters and lines to tell you how cool these movies are. This Frank Miller directed movie was supposed to join the league of cult movies certified cool by fanboys, but the result is one which is, well, less than desired.
Miller (how can anyone be cool enough to write Sin City and 300, and direct the former?) pens the screenplay of this movie based on Will Eisner’s comic book series to tell the story of a former rookie policeman who was murdered and born again to become The Spirit, whose sole mission is to eliminate the evil forces hiding in the shadows of the city. His nemesis is The Octopus, whose evil plan is to destroy the entire city. The two will come together for a showdown, accompanied by different women who have different intentions of seducing, loving or killing our masked hero.
Judging from the story, this movie could have been a hit with fanboys, with its potential to explore the dark side of human nature, the seedy side of the cold city and the seductive side of pretty things. And to make things cooler, the visual approach of the movie will remind you of movies like, yes, we’ve got to mention Sin City and 300 again – the bold and unique inky graphic style which showcases (we’d love to use the term “shows off”, but that’d be a tad rude) the technical capabilities of the special effects department, and of course, Miller’s ability to visualise a story from comic strips.
While the story has could have been a tale of a struggling crusader saving the city, the 108 minute movie became somewhat disengaging after half an hour, no thanks to its unfathomable plot development. One moment you think you know why The Spirit is behaving like a tortured hero, the other moment you wonder why he bothers with cleaning up the mess of the city. This isn’t aided by the absurd and preposterous lines the characters had to spout. Sample these dialogues, courtesy of The Spirit and The Octopus: “Somebody find me a tie! I don't care what kind, but by God, it had better be red!” (The Spirit says that because he wants a tie) “Toilets are always funny!”, “I'm the Octopus, I got eight of everything.” (The Octopus says that because it makes him feel evil).
And just because the movie’s got a cool Gabriel Macht as The Spirit, a campy Samuel L Jackson as The Octopus and sirens like Jaime King, Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson as the seductive babes, we can tell you fanboys aren’t lapping this movie up.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains only a Trailer, 3 TV Spots and a Photo Gallery.
There is nothing to complain about the disc’s visual transfer, and you can choose to watch it in either English Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1.
by John Li