Director: Frank Miller
Cast: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett
Johansson, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Dan Lauria, Paz Vega,
Jaime King, Louis Lombardi, Stana Katic
RunTime: 1 hr 43 mins
Released By: Encore Films & UIP
Official Website: http://encorefilms.com/thespirit
Opening Day: 25 December 2008
Adapted from the legendary graphic novels, WILL EISNER’S
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 (played by Gabriel Macht) to fight crime from
the shadows of Central City. His arch-enemy, THE OCTOPUS (played
by 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.
Spirit tracks this cold hearted killer from the 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 the masked crusader.
to Frank Miller’s world and He doesn’t give a
damn what you think or like.
that. It will make the viewing of The Spirit much easier.
Folks coming into The Spirit, expecting the usual comic to
movie treatment (such as The Dark Knight and HellBoy) will
be disappointed. That’s because in Frank Miller’s
world, if he want it hammy, cartoonish and filled with absurdly
bad dialogues/ monologues, god damn it, he will have it his
way. If you don’t get it, that’s your freaking
the feedbacks given to me after the movie were that Frank
Miller’s The Spirit was a boring, silly, “all
over the place” disjointed film. The film tried to be
noir-ishly cool, then campy, then serious, then ironic, then
what the hell just happened. The cool factor was also turned
off by the stilted lines and laughable moments (those that
you laugh at (not with) the actors for delivering those cringe
Frank Miller for you. On one hand, he is capable of creating
comic classic like “Daredevil Reborn” and Batman
Year One and on the other hand, singlehandedly destroyed his
resume with the worst rendition of Batman in comic history
(ie All Star Batman and Robin). It felt that what happening
in the movie projects that he is directing. Sin City was a
great medium to show how comics could faithfully translate
onto the big screen while The Spirit just felt out of place
in the typical superhero comic movie genre.
this review is not out to bash this film up (there are likely
many other reviews out there that will do it with more flair
and sarcasm) and instead will be offering another point of
view for this movie.
Miller had mention that he disliked the superficial realism
applied on superheroes and had purposely went out of his way
to make his drawing more cartoony. In that manner, it made
the comics felt more rooted in what it has always meant to
be and the same treatment could have been applied for this
comic book – movie adaptation. If all the comic book
heroes’ movies are done in the same fashion, there’s
very little to differentiate one comic book movie from another.
on The Spirit also sparks interest with comic fans that actually
haven’t gotten down to reading the pulp version of The
Spirit, to see how this character operates back in Will Eisner’S
world. Did Frank Miler’s Sin City style actually bring
out the best or worst rendition of The Spirit?
The Spirit wasn’t as bad as some early reviews that
had been bestowing with (rotten tomatoes). It has it’s
moments when there are pure fun during the hammering it up
interaction between characters / actors. There was also some
great looking Sin City style cinematography that felt like
it could have been taken from the original source material.
Plus having hot looking babe like Scarlett Johansson and Eva
Mendes heating up the screens with the fantastic figures are
a great time passer. Not too bad of a movie but leave the
dissecting judgments behind to enjoy this comic based movie.
(so bad that it’s actually good … in Frank
Miller’s classic campy comic style)
Review by Richard Lim Jr