SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie The Spirit (2008)
This movie went under my radar. I remember seeing the posters and remember one review saying this was bad movie trying to emulate Sin City. This was directed by Frank Miller who wrote Sin City comics. I guess he has every right to emulate Sin City. It has been ages since I read the comics. What I remember them to be dark and odd with some strange humor. The Spirit was not your generic comic hero. There was always something odd. I don’t remember ever I reading origin story or what The Spirit was in comics. So I can’t tell how much of that is rewritten for this movie.
In this movie The Spirit is lonely vigilante who heals so fast that he can’t die. He has arch enemy Octopus who can’t die either. Addition to that there is also Spirit’s teenage girlfriend Sand Saref who has gone other side of the law. Everything is as film noir as source material let Frank Miller to go. Original comic was odd comic version of film noir and Frank Miller is master of film noir. Movie is odd love child of Will Eisner and Frank Miller. There is something in center from Will Eisner. It is covered with Frank Miller visuals. I think movie got spirit of source material. Octopuss’s gang was so weird that it could come from comics. Gabriel Macht is as good Spirit as any live actor can be. Eva Mendez and Scarlett Johansson bring female hotness. Samuel L Jackson is almost always good. In this movie also.
There are no big themes in story. This not story driven movie. Visuals and mood are more important. It is hard for me to understand why this got so bad reviews. Did reviewers expect regular action movie? You can’t get regular action movie with two main characters who heal so fast that they can’t die. Did they only saw Sin City like visuals? Was oddness too much? For some one like me who likes the comics and likes work of Frank Miller this is good movie. Everything look so good. Even animated sequences work perfectly. Movie has oddness of the comic. You can argue that this has too much of Frank Miller and not enough Will Eisner in it. As fan of Frank Miller that doesn’t bother me but I can see fans of The Spirit could have different opinions.
This post was more review than analysing. I wanted to write something about this and content doesn’t give much to analyze. I just want people to check this movie and don’t be afraid of bad reviews and bad box office. It is shame enough that those prevents us from seeing more Frank Miller movies. This movie shows how good director he is. He could have given us many masterpieces if he had found perfect stories for his style. In this story is only weak point.