The Spirit – Review

The Spirit   Review

The Spirit - Click to see full size image.

STARS: GABRIEL MACHT, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, EVA MENDES, DAN LAURIA, STANA KATIC, SARAH PAULSON, AND LOUIS LOMBARDI.

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: FRANK MILLER.

BASED ON THE ORIGINAL COMIC STRIP CREATED BY WILL EISNER.

RATED: PG-13

RUN TIME: 102 MIN.

Sin City meets Batman (the campy 60’S TV series.) There’s even a reference to Robins ass in the film. First off let me tell ya that The Spirit doesn’t suck, as a matter of fact its pretty entertaining! A campy over the top (superhero origin film) that takes the superhero element and twists it into a uber dark-deco vs high tech tale of dead ladies man cop vs super campy mastermind (Unbreakable 2 on Acid).

Set in the same exact style of Sin City, the dark cinematography is stunning, as well as the awesome casting. The story sets out to tell the tale of Denny Colt, (Macht). He’s the “Spirit”, a cop that came back after being killed, and who now possesses “Wolverine” type healing powers. The entire film is narrated by the “Spirit” as we follow him (and his curious cat) along to Central Cities , Mud Flats. Its here that he meets up with “The Octopus” (Jackson). After this (awesome battle!!!), we find out that Octopus knows the secret of the Spirit’s healing abilities.

The Spirit also stumbles on a clue that links Sand Saref (Mendes), to the shooting of a cop. The film then goes into flashback mode, as we see Sand and Denny’s backstory as they grew up together in the slums of Central City. During the battle at Mud Flats, Sand and Octopus, pick up the wrong case and the film is basically based on this storyline as the Spirit is in pursuit of The Octopus and he’s in pursuit of Sand’s Box. (That didn’t sound right?)

Octopus wants the other box that contains the blood of Hercules. Something about making him immortal? Sand wants the Super Shiny thing that’s in the other box.

Meanwhile the origin of Spirit’s power is explained. Its an over the top film.

Gabriel Macht, was fricken awesome as “The Spirit”, where did this guy come from? Regardless of how you look at this film you have to give him props. He totally pulled this character off ! Samuel L. Jackson, (who I can’t stand and hate!) was amazing as “The Octopus!” He carried every scene (Ledger style), as the bad guy of the film. Sam Jackson really provided the camp flavor to the film that ultimately saves it from being a stiff comic version of Dick Tracy. His clone henchmen (Lombardi) are right out of Adam Wests, 60’s Batman tv series. Campy big time! I loved it, loved the entire film!

The film has the conclusion you can see coming from the first 20 minutes, yet its visuals and characters pull you in and force you to watch The Spirit.

Its too bad the marketing trailers totally sucked eggs on this film!
The Spirit was very over the top, I enjoyed it!!! High tech meets camp.

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  • http://film-book.com FIlm-Book dot Com

    Alright. Maybe I’ll pop in the screener of this and give it a watch.

  • Jon Stephens

    Wow. That must’ve been hard for you to say that Sam Jackson was great in this film.

    I want to see this movie now. I’ve just been waiting for a good review to convince me that this film is worth the 10 price of admission.

  • 790

    Not at all Jon,,, I don’t have a prob when an actor I usually find over exposed comes through with a great performance. Sam Jackson fans will love this film.

    Let me know what you guys think. I will say that the film should be rated R.
    (Not for small kids)

    Don’t take it too seriously. It was like watching a super campy alternate reality version of the 60’s Batman tv show, with real good vfx,,,
    I think a lot of critics are drawing negative parallels between “The Dark Knight”, and “Sin City.” The Spirit has a totally different style going on, I can see how some won’t like it.
    “Sin City” had multiple stories running throughout, as The Spirit focuses on the origin of the Spirit and the Octopus…

    Oh Filmbook I’m jealous if I had the screener I would watch it with a few brews. :-)

  • Jon Stephens

    Awesome. I find it hard to believe anyone who has seen the trailer would take it seriously. It all seemed pretty campy from the get go. But I love Adam West’s Batman, it was great, so I think I may really enjoy this movie.

    Cesar Romero’s Joker was kick ass. I love that he refused to shave his mustache, and they just painted over it!

  • 790

    No the only sex scene was when Mendes drops her towel, she’s fully nude but they blur it to PG levels. (I’m sure it was a body double anyway)

    The reason the trailers make it look kinda like a soft porn film is because The Spirit likes all women. He can’t help it, its part of his persona. However he explains that his first love is and will always be the City
    The film explains why he’s this way,,, :-)

    I’m prob gonna hear it on this one, but Gabriel Macht could have been a real good Bruce Wayne… Better than Bale. (IMO)

  • http://www.dccomics.com/ KEL

    Finally, a review! Thanks, 790! Interesting points, perhaps I’ll check it out, but it still sounds poor to me (sorry). Gabriel Macht was an unknown guy, I’m glad that he did well. Too bad they effed this up so much.

    ….were there any sex scenes????? :-D The trailers seemed to suggest them a little. ;-)

  • Ken J

    Well, considering that someone had said that this movie is Battlefield Earth bad, and you said that Battlefield Earth didn’t suck either, so that means the first statement can still be true, and since I thought that Battlefield Earth DID suck, then that would mean…

    I’ll wait for Vic of SR to review this movie…

    :-P

    Just messing with you 790, I’m not interested in this film no matter what, not my type of movie anyhow, lol.

  • 790

    Are you sure Vics gonna be doing a review on this? He usually post reviews the same week or before…

    There’s a reason Spirit is the way he is but its a spolier so if you want email me on my private email, and I’ll tell you. :-)

  • http://www.dccomics.com/ KEL

    @790

    Yeah, Macht would make a great Batman. I knew that from the interviews I’d seen.

    I knew that about The Spirit, that he had a major hard on for all ladies from reading the comics but it seemed like a joke in the movie trailers.

    Thanks for the review, man!!! :-D

    (still waiting for Vic’s review of course not that I dislike yours ;-) )

  • Jon Stephens

    Would Macht have done the ridiculous raspy Batman voice? Cause if not, then he’d be better than Bale. I hated that.

  • JD

    I’m down for camp. I wasn’t sure about this movie because Miller didn’t really have anyone with him this time around (Rodriguez) to help him direct and when I saw the look of the film, though cool, I was beginning to wonder if he was in-fact a one-trick-pony. I’ll have to check it out…though I freakin’ hated Battlefield Earth so…we shall see…

    And yes…I totally agree the “I’ve been gargling razor blades” voice that Bale does as Batman is ridiculous. The spoof that I saw on YouTube with “batman” interrogating the “joker” and not being able to understand him was priceless.

  • Jon Stephens

    I love me some camp too, if the mood is right.

    I’ll admit Miller is looking like a one trick pony at this point, but I’ll give him Buck Rodgers to right the ship. If that is similar to Spirit in terms of style and visuals, he’s done in my book.

    I loved that video. It is hilarious. That was really bad in TDK. In fact, if not for the legendary performance by Heath Ledger, the movie would more than likely suck. But we don’t live in a world of what ifs, and we did get to see him steal the movie with that performance, so the movie is and always will be good. The next one, however, worries me. Hard to top Heath’s Joker as far as villains go. What do they do? No freaking clue.

  • 790

    If I had to rate “The Spirit” on a scale between 1 and 10, I would give it a 7!

    I don’t give a flying fuck what anyone else says about this film!,
    You don’t like it , I don’t give a shit,! It was a campy superhero film that was a fun ride and looked clean !!! Compaired to Valkyre or that dog loving Marley crapfest, The Spirit was the best film of December 08…!

    Instead of reading biased reviews ppl should see this movie for themselves !!!

    The dvd/BR, will be a cult classic no doubt !!!

  • https://myspace.com/newfangledcage Pattycakes

    This film was worth the 10 bucks to watch for me, because I love the slap-stick comical fight scenes. Why not give the movie a chance? It has the hot ladies, artistic visual effects, and Dick Tracy feel to it. I love Dick Tracy!

  • Ken J

    Um, I think people read “biased reviews” (as long as you know yours is included) so they can better prioritize where their money goes. You don’t expect us to just pay the $8-$12 for a ticket for every movie that we’re curious about? Some of us are not rich, and have other things we need our money for…

  • Jon Stephens

    I just saw the film last night, so now I can truly give my 2 cents…

    Look, this film is CLEARLY not for everyone. But it has the makings of a cult classic for sure. It was very visual, very beautiful. And in that regard, I love it. Don’t go in expecting it to be TDK or anything else for that matter. IF that is even possible. People definitely should see the movie for themselves, be it in the theaters, on dvd or on tv. I understand your point Ken about money, especially in this economy. But rentals are very cheap, and lets face it, it will be at your local blockbuster very soon. And even if you don’t want to pay for it, when it makes it on the sci fi channel, don’t change the channel just because someone else said it sucks. Sure, you may hate it. It is not for everyone. But, you never know, you may just be surprised.

    This is one of those love’em or hate’em movies that gets very polarized reviews. Personally, I love me some camp, so I found the film to be quite enjoyable. Others may not. But no one should let someone else tell them that a movie is not worth watching, even if it’s free. Decide for yourself, even if you wait till its free.

  • Ken J

    There are way too many bad movies out there for me to go watching all of them, even if they are free. They take up my time and my time isn’t free. I work 60 hours a week, most of it overnights, so I don’t have a whole lot of free time to spare, so I tend to pick what I want to do or what I want to watch very carefully. So yes, I don’t let just anyone tell me what to see or what not to see, the way I usually go about it is I pick a small group of people who usually has very similar tastes in movies as I do, and if they all unanimously tell me a movie sucks, I don’t bother with it. If I get mixed feedback, I’ll try to find out from the ones who hated it exactly what it is they didn’t like. And based on that, I can tell if it’s the same things that would make me not like it, or if those reasons are more specific to that person’s tastes.

    If I can’t decide that way, then I make it a point to watch it anyway. So basically, movies that get good reviews from the people I trust, I watch in the theaters. Movies that get too mixed reviews from them, I watch on DVD. Movies that get unanimously panned, I simply don’t watch. It has worked out pretty well so far. :-P

    As for this movie, I’ve only heard online reviews since none of my friends are even slightly interested in watching it. So for this one, I think if later on someone wants to rent it (meaning I’m not paying for it) then I might watch it, and if it’s not good, I simply take a nap on the couch, lol. Hey, I need all the sleep I can get…

    But thanks Jon, it’s always good to get multiple opinions about things. Just one question though, did you like Battlefield Earth or Terminator 3? lol, just kidding man. :-P

  • Jon Stephens

    You know, I wasn’t specifically telling you to view things that way, and in fact, the comment is not directed to you at all. I chose to address your good point about money, but if it’s for you, I’ll start with @Ken J from now on.

    Terminator 3 was decent for what it was. But I suppose you don’t like it… That’s fantastic for you, but I enjoyed it

  • Ken J

    Look at my avatar, T3 was like an attack to my religion, lol. If I wasn’t a Terminator fanatic, then I might not have minded it too much. But how it basically got all of the “Terminator facts” wrong just really annoyed me, haha. But most of my friends that doesn’t care much for the Terminator franchise thought of it like you did, they just thought it was an “eh, it was ok” movie. :-) Oh, and I’ve always hated when movies used overly long car chase scenes to fill in space, especially when it leads nowhere in the storyline…

  • Ken J

    Oh, and Jon, don’t mind my long-windedness, it’s something I can’t help but do, I don’t mean to imply that I thought your post was all directed at me, it was just my reply to it, I just tend to type a little more than most people, not sure why, maybe I give too many examples, or I explain things too in-depth, maybe I should write instruction manuals…

  • Jon Stephens

    So if you are a terminator fanatic, I assume you are displeased with what McG is doing with the franchise. Cant imagine a terminator fanatic being happy with Harvesters, moto terminators, and worse yet (I shudder as I type it) the fact that they played with the idea of killing Connor at the end of T4 and replace him with a terminator.

    I loved the terminator franchise, and I am pretty damned upset about it too. T2 is my all time favorite movie, regardless of genre. You should check out my T4 update post. McG is killing the terminator mythos

  • JD

    I to enjoyed T3 (for what it was worth). Give me some good action sequences and I’m gold (most of the time). Though not to be a typical guy, but come-on! A Hot Female Terminator (who has to travel through time nude) and we get strategically placed mirrors and objects?!? We practically saw more skin in the TV Series. (though that’s a whole other post for another day)

    As far as T4. When I heard McG was doing it, I was surprised and worried. But the trailer looks pretty cool. And for my dollar, I can’t sit and complain about not having any original ideas come out of Hollywood and then be upset for him tweaking the storyline to give us something new out of an overdone franchise. I’ve been waiting to see the war of the machines. Time travel flicks are tough. You can pretty much say or do whatever and blame it on the time-line being changed. Is there a possibility that it will suck…oh most certainly, but I’m willing to give it a shot just to see the terminator motorcycles and giant robots fighting Batman…I mean Connor.

    I too really like the terminator mythos and I think that’s why I enjoyed (what I saw) of the series and why I’m willing to give this new one a shot. It’s almost a nostalgia thing.

    Side note…I’ve heard that Connor being a cyborg was a false leak…but who knows…it’s not like you can ever trust what you read on the net.

  • Jon Stephens

    It was false, but not false. Straight from the horses mouth, so to speak. Check out my terminator update post from a little while back. I addressed that. I basically addressed everything up until that point in time, including footage shown and commentary on the footage by Mr McG himself.

    T4 is one of those things that is going to be appreciated by the more casual fan and even the big terminator fans, but the super hardcore terminator fans more than likely would be uspet with it. A while ago, 790 turned me on to the fact that there were several terminator novels released addressing the future war. And since I’ve always dreamed about it, I picked one up. Anyone who has read any of those would be pissed. I don’t want to see connor running from the autobots. That’s just dumb. I’m not saying I’m not going to see it, I will. But I’m not expecting much and I’m not happy with what I’ve seen so far. But I will see it on the off chance that it turns out good. I don’t claim to know everything, I could be very wrong. We will have to wait and see.

    I enjoy the terminator show too, but I don’t consider it part of the terminator mythos. It should be stand alone. Case in point: The show is setting up Cameron as John’s confidant in the future, and that is why Cameron was sent back. Why would Connor choose her over the Terminator he grew to love from his childhood? And what is this garbage about aliens? It’s a fun show, but it’s not the terminator from the movies. It’s just a cool show that features fighting robots. At least, that’s just my opinion. And I know I tend to have opinions that are way out in left field.

  • 790

    T3 kicked ass,,,,!!!!

  • Ken J

    McGriddle is definitely setting off a lot of alarms with all of this new terminator BS. The fact that he has to introduce all of these new “cool” terminators tell me that he’s going for gimmick points. If the movie relies on a strong story, then simply having the standard T-800 Terminators we already know, along with the HK’s would have been more than enough, since a good story is more important than having “cool” new things to look at.

    But I’m going to try to look at it from a non-Terminator standpoint like I TRIED with T3… But I know I will notice everything that will be wrong in that movie…

  • Jon Stephens

    That’s exactly what I wanted from this movie. Just like the GOOD terminator movies.

    Strong story, solid acting, masses of standard terminators that have already been established in Terminator Lore. No need to create new terminators. Why do that? Just to shock people is my guess. The casual fan will go “whoa, that terminator is huge! Awesome” or “did you see that motorcycle with the head and the guns? Cool!” While all the hardcore fans will be pissed.

    I’m going to try it too, because I badly want this movie to kick ass. But I don’t think it will.

  • 790

    Not at all Jon,,, I don't have a prob when an actor I usually find over exposed comes through with a great performance. Sam Jackson fans will love this film.

    Let me know what you guys think. I will say that the film should be rated R.
    (Not for small kids)

    Don't take it too seriously. It was like watching a super campy alternate reality version of the 60's Batman tv show, with real good vfx,,,
    I think a lot of critics are drawing negative parallels between “The Dark Knight”, and “Sin City.” The Spirit has a totally different style going on, I can see how some won't like it.
    “Sin City” had multiple stories running throughout, as The Spirit focuses on the origin of the Spirit and the Octopus…

    Oh Filmbook I'm jealous if I had the screener I would watch it with a few brews. :-)