Review: The Spirit

Come on! Toilets are always funny!

Wow, what can I say about The Spirit? It defies typical film making as much as it does an easily expressible opinion of it. On one hand my brain screamed “what a crappy movie” during the entire duration of the film. On the other hand, it was something of a guilty pleasure, and I must admit I enjoyed myself during it. Frank Miller, director of 300 and Sin City, once again brings his very eccentric film making style to the table. In what many call a “spiritual successor,” at least visually, to Sin City; The Spirit is strange to say the least. Straying considerably from the graphic novel it is based on; Spirit follows a masked, wise-cracking, womanizing superhero with considerable healing powers as he battles his arch-nemesis, “The Octopus” (Samuel L. Jackson). The aesthetic style of this film is even crazier than Sin City’s, the acting is over-the-top to say the least, the characters are ridiculous, and yet the movie is somehow… well, it’s fun.

To call this movie weird would be an exercise in understatements. At every possible instance, Miller seems intent on pumping as much visual style and flair as possible into the scene. From small things like The Spirit’s animated tie to the ridiculous battle at the films’ climax, nothing is spared from the all encompassing oddity of Millers’ eccentric style.

While some may certainly see this as a downside bordering on eyesore, I found it to be welcome eye-candy to make up for the fact that the movie has no substance whatsoever. The characters all fall into three categories: a bucket of testosterone, superfluous comic relief, and boobs. I’ll be damned if any of the three wavered from their stereotypes in the least. The hollow nature of the film certainly doesn’t end with the characters either. The writing and plot had shockingly little direction and it ends up no where satisfying.

However, odd as it may seem, it’s really not all that bad. In fact, I think this may have been the very intention of Miller and crew, even if it probably didn’t end up the way they wanted it to. I truly feel the direction they wanted to take the film was in the spirit of the pulpy, corny comics of the 1930s. Over-the-top dialogue, ridiculous characters, exploitation of stereotypes, etc. These are what made those comics so endearingly entertaining and laugh-out-loud hilarious to read today.

While The Spirit might not be a piece of art, hell it might not even be a very good movie, what it does succeed at is being fun. Go into it with the right attitude and expectations and I’m pretty sure you’ll have a good time.

 

Ratings for The Spirit
Rating (out of 10 )
6.8
Overall Score
Rental

 

Ryan Matsunaga's picture
Ryan is the co-founder and current Editor-in-Chief of the 8CN. He really likes pancakes. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanMatsu
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