Writer: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
Quote from the fact sheet: "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". Hold up, are you kidding me? This film is nothing close to gut-wrenching, it's more side-splitting than anything else. Moreover, names like The Octopus, Silken Floss, and Plaster of Paris is already warming up the laugh-o-meter.
Based on Will Eisner's comic book series, "The Spirit" is Frank Miller's debut as a director and is on its way to what could be the most hilarious movie of the year! No joke - well in my books, that is. Tongue firmly in its cheek, this noir crime comedy (as I'd like to call it) will bust a rib or two with its crazy humorous script. "Die Spirit, die! Die like Star Trek!" as said by The Octopus played by Samuel L. Jackson. The film is occasionally accompanied with cheesy and corny lines. One would expect scenes in the film to be a little more serious and action packed, but no, it hardly ever is.
The Octopus is an immortal villain who has some serious personal issues with eggs and wants to kill The Spirit who is also an immortal being. However, hatred is not what drives him, it's the obsession he has for power. Thus, killing The Spirit is his best option, so that when he drinks the blood of Heracles, he shall be only one capable of being God, or at least the next best thing. Sand Saref (Eva Mendez) on the other hand, is The Spirit's old flame and she is somehow mixed into the whole shenanigan. The fighting sequence isn't what you would expect from two immortal beings. It comes across as mere child's play, thrown in with a few silly jokes. How unexpected is that?
Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johanson, Eva Mendez play their characters well. However, Gabriel Macht who plays The Spirit is rather dull and very disappointing for a titular character.
The visual style of the film is attractive and creative, never letting you forget that you are in a comic world. However, sometimes the effects can be rather hard to appreciate due to the dark atmosphere. This could be the director wanting to just focus on the actors and not the background. On another note, the character's costumes are so strangely mixed and matched. The Spirit wears a black trenchcoat with fedora and sneakers, while Jackson's jedi robes seem to be recycled to save on the film's budget and then he wears a samurai outfit in the next scene. What gives?
Overall, "The Spirit" is a dumbed down movie but still worth watching for the laughs. Feel free to try and get into the spirit!Cinema Online, 25 December 2008