Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Spirit (Review)

Frank Miller, a master of the sequential arts (Sin City, 300, ...among others), ventures further into a new medium and makes his solo-directorial/screenwriter debut with The Spirit. The Spirit is an adaption of an acclaimed comic book series of the same name penned by the famous Will Eisner in the 1940's. The film adaptation is produced in similar vein to Sin City in visual scope but not direction with its pastiche of film-noir and comic book romanticism. The film's storyline lacked any build-up or coherence. The absence of character development, other than a momentary flashback, left the film hollow with it's two-dimensional characters vying for attention. One way to put it (for the Mainers reading this) is that the lady with the thick DownEast accent in the Marden's commercials has a more developed character than the cut-outs in The Spirit. Samuel L. Jackson's character The Octopus was fun for his larger-than-life costumes (Sammy L.J. in a Nazi uniform... oookay?!) and his campy dialogue (this character has a thing for "eggs", but it is not explained why). Eva Mendes looked hot, Scarlett Johansson was remarkably unremarkable, and Louis Lombardi had his multiple moments as dimwitted cloned henchmen (that is not a typo). But these few examples are not enough to breath life into this insipid monstrosity.
This decorative turd of a film is worth seeing if you like the visual style of Sin City; just don't expect any coherent story or character development that drives you to want to care about watching the film to the end. This cinematic golem is not worth seeing if you value: your time; narrative integrity; and the cost of a cinema ticket.

I viewed this film at Smittys Cinema, 420 Alfred, Biddeford, ME