Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Lack Of Spirit!


When The Spirit was released several years ago, I was hopeful that some of Will Eisner's greatest creation would be translated to the screen. I'm not naive enough to imagine that the translation would be seamless or that I'd be completely happy, but I held out hope that given a solid comic book man like Frank Miller was in charge, that the essence of the character would remain.

I hoped in vain.

But hope springs eternal and when I found a copy of the movie super cheap, I picked it up thinking that maybe my memory was faulty and that I'd like it better now, after all these years.

I was wrong again.


The Spirit we meet on the screen is a mopey self-absorbed hipster who bounces around town in his overly stylish tennis shoes like a noir Spider-Man. He's got some fetish for "his city" and waxes on endlessly about how he and the city are connected. That would be okay, save that this connection is largely ignored after a long set up.


As bad though as The Spirit is, the Octopus is a disaster. The mysterious unseen villain of the comics is transformed into a loquacious maniac who kills for sheer delight. Both he and the Spirit it seems have been transformed into supermen of a sort and battle each other out of some grand ennui which more than anything else seems to inform this culture. The city and its occupants seem bored and the audience cannot be far behind.


The women are beautiful, the filmmaking is at least stylish and visually arresting in places, but overall The Spirit as imagined by Frank Miller rambles too far from the source material and finds itself lost. It's a rather dull story actually with some clever set pieces which after it's all said and done don't add up to a good movie.

It's a shame really. Will never saw it. That's probably a blessing.

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4 comments:

  1. I went in with low expectations but some hope... and I was completely unprepared for what a steaming pile of crap this movie was.

    Frank Miller has claimed that he was a fan and admirer of Will Eisner. You sure can't tell from "The Spirit." It feels like a movie made by someone who flipped through a few Kitchen Sink reprint issues, but never bothered READING "The Spirit."

    Miller shows with that awful film that he either didn't "get" Eisner's creation, or he is so full of himself that he thought it would be better if it was turned into "Sin City."

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  2. I actually bought this in a package with Sin City and watched that movie right after this one. I like Sin City quite a bit, so it's not a rejection of the style that hampers this movie, it's a near complete lack of an interesting story or compelling characters. The only character in the whole shebang we can have any empathy for is Ellen Dolan and that's just because the Spirit is such an utter creep to her.

    I wanted to like it, I'd love to take the contrary role and defend it to its many detractors, but it's just too badly done.

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  3. Saw the movie recently for the first time. It really was bad, wasn't it? Proves that Miller should stick to comics. Seems that he was more concerned with creating interesting looking visuals than telling an interesting story. It sucked the life outta me.

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  4. you watched it a second time? I'm almost impressed. it was a dreadful film. who in their right mind thought that it would be a good idea to let Frank Miller make a film? I mean, honestly. bet he got the sack, whoever it was. good. best shot of him, I say. and I really liked Sin City, I thought it was a cracking good fun.

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