- Director:Frank Miller
- Cast:Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlet Johannsen, Gabriel Macht, Eva Mendes, Frank Miller, Sarah Paulson
- Release Date:January 29, 2009
- Running time:108 minutes
- Film Worth:$5.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
“…messy and devoid of substance…”
With a style along the same vein as Frank Miller's crime noir Sin City, some may look forward to this ostensible new treat, but something has gone very much awry in The Spirit. Miller's adaptation of Will Eisner's comics leaves much to be desired, and if it weren't for the pleasing aesthetics, this film would have nothing much going for it. The disappointment lies in the fact that this film had so much potential. It should have been brilliant, as it boasts an impressive cast and all the makings of a Sin City sequel. Instead, The Spirit is hollow, with a convoluted plot, and Miller has clearly opted for visual style over thematic depth.
The protagonist, The Spirit (Gabriel Macht), a former rookie cop who was killed, has risen from the dead to protect Central City from crime and various nasties. His ultimate nemesis, Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), is searching for the answer to immortality with the help of his sidekick, scientist Silken Floss (Scarlet Johansson). The story also features The Spirit's various love interests, most notably his childhood sweetheart, Sand Saref (Eva Mendes), whose penchant for diamonds has led her to a life of crime.
The Spirit floats between being an absurdist piece and an action film imbued with fantasy and myth. The quirky, comical moments provide some level of entertainment, but the script often spirals into the ridiculous. Macht is somewhat charismatic as The Spirit, but lacks a certain chutzpah that is needed for a role such as this. The Spirit's downfall is its clear effort to do too much. It tries too hard to be a smooth noir piece, but it feels messy and devoid of substance, and the cheesy one-liners grate. See it for its visual strengths, if nothing else.