The Spirit

Directed by Frank Miller
Written by Will Eisner
Screenplay by Frank Miller
Starring: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Paulson, Jamie King, Dan Lauria, Paz Vega, and Louis Lombardi
Release year: 2008
IMDB rating: 5.1

Mesmerizing visuals are probably the only strength of this movie about a deceased cop who returned from the dead and became a crime fighter known as The Spirit. Looking after the Central City, he works with the police department headed by Commissioner Dolan. His arch-enemy is The Octopus who claimed that he created The Spirit and this time, on the hunt of the Blood of Heracles which could make him an immortal. On the other side comes Sand Saref, a femme fatale who was a childhood sweetheart of Denny Colt, aka The Spirit. After she mistakenly took the chest containing the Blood of Heracles wanted by The Octopus, and that The Octopus mistakenly obtained the treasure of the Argonauts sought by her, the parties will have to confront each other in the final confrontation.

The style of the movie is similar to Sin City, another comic book adaptation, also directed by Frank Miller (and Robert Rodriguez). Frame by frame comic strip translations to the movie screen made both movies great to behold. 300 was also using similar approach, but regarding similarities, I’d say Sin City and The Spirit are much more look alike. Despite some violent scenes, compared to what I just watched in Punisher: War Zone, the ones in The Spirit could be classified as mild. The atmosphere is dark, just like Sin City, with red being used as the main contrasting color.

Alas, the great visuals is not accompanied with great acting. There’s some sense of lack of depth in the cast’s performances. Watching the movie was like flipping through comic pages, there’s a lack of emotion expressed from the characters although there are a few funny scenes involved. The only noticeable play was from Samuel L. Jackson who played The Octopus. Other characters seemed to be overshadowed by Jackson’s Octopus.

As for the plot, well it’s a comic book adaptation, so if Frank Miller wanted to do it as exactly drawn and told in the comic pages, then we cannot complain about the story. Yet, some improvisations could really help put more quality to this film.

The final score is 6.0. I’ve seen Sin City before, so another look alike would have to offer something more, such as better plot or better acting, or both. The visuals were great, but without great performance from the cast, it’s like beautifully wrapped box with nothing inside.

blog comments powered by Disqus