The Spirit (2008) mini review

based on a comic

Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) is The Spirit.  He's the hero of Central City. But what is he? Is he dead? Is he alive? To be honest, I had some trouble following it; partly because it was convoluted, and partly because it had trouble keeping my attention and I think I may have dozed off a few times (you know, like you do in school, when you're sitting at your desk and suddenly you jerk awake, knowing you just dozed off for a second or two).

Maybe the film is an homage to the comic, and the comic leaves as many questions unanswered. Maybe the film is an homage to film noir, and that's why there's so much over-acting and corny dialogue.  Either way, you can tell I was a bit disappointed.  It's an interesting experiment, but not as good as it could have been (or should have been). I'm not sure what the film was trying to be, or what it was trying to do.  Was it campy? Was it an homage? Was it film noir?

The film is, of course, based on the Will Eisner classic comic book/strip The Spirit.  It was directed by Frank Miller (who you might remember had co-directing credits on his Sin City movie).  Samuel L. Jackson (Iron Man, The Incredibles, Unbreakable, Afro Samurai) plays Octopus; Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider) is The Spirit's first love - Sand Seref. Paz Vega (you may remember her from Spanglish) is the enchantress Plaster of Paris, Scarlett Johanssen (Ghost World) plays The Octopus's right-hand woman Silken Floss; Jaime King (Sin City, upcoming Sin City 2, Bulletproof Monk) is Lorelei Rox, and Dan Lauria is Dolan (he had parts in Smallville, Static Shock, and Batman Beyond) - he's the dad from The Wonder Years, if you, like me, were struggling to remember where you knew him from.

See it if you're a comic fan and want to see a feature based on comics legend Will Eisner's The Spirit or want to see Frank Miller's directorial debut.

Don't see it if, if you hate to see such great talent wasted, or based on Miller's comic writing and Sin City, you expect this to be really good.

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