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Adapted from the legendary comic strip, "The Spirit" is a classic action-adventure-romance told by genre-twister Frank Miller. It is the story of a former rookie cop who returns mysteriously from the dead as the Spirit (Gabriel Macht) to fight crime from the shadows of Central City. His arch-enemy, the Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) has a different mission: he’s going to wipe out Spirit's beloved city as he pursues his own version of immortality. The Spirit tracks this cold-hearted killer all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill our masked crusader. Surrounding him at every turn are Ellen Dolan (Sarah Paulson), Silken Floss (Scarlett Johansson), Plaster of Paris (Paz Vega), and Lorelei (Jaime King). Then of course, there’s Sand Saref (Eva Mendes), the jewel thief with dangerous curves. She’s the love of his life turned bad. Will he save her or will she kill him?
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 112
- Fresh: 16
- Rotten: 96
- Average Rating: 3.5/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: What is most striking about The Spirit is how little pleasure it affords, in spite of its efforts to by sly, sexy, heartfelt and clever all at once.
Rotten: Denny Colt might have come back from the dead, but The Spirit stays cold on the slab.
Rotten: The style is willing. But the spirit is weak.
Rotten: Good comic books suggest action through abstraction, but The Spirit plays like an overproduced diorama.
Fanstastic piece of cinema... if you know how to watch it.
I'm going to start by saying this film is brilliant, despite what people may say. A reason why so many people have frowned upon this film is because they dont understand how to watch it. By just watching the trailer, its presumed that this is an action packed, epic, sweeping story movie. Its not. And it wasnt Frank Millers intention either. The purpose of this movie is to have a good time at the movies. This movie is not ment to be taken seriously, its ment to entertain. This is a genre twisting movie in ways that it is a mystery, comedy, action-adventure, romance, and part drama. Its ment to take you on a ride with its brilliant art direction, and stylish use of effects. Its ment to make us chuckle at the rediculous scale of the corny puns. The acting is not terrible, its detailed. The actors are trying to embody these over-the-top super charcters with their odd timing, and wacky one liners. Its all intentional. Its ment to be amusing. This movie shouldnt be compared to Sin City or 300. Just because theyre by the same director and he used similar styles doesnt mean you should hate this movie because its not as good as the others. Judge the movies individually, not as a collective. People who like to be visually entertained, rent/buy this movie imediately. Its nothing but style, and art, and imagry. This film is an aquired taste. But the people that understand what its trying to do, and just go along with the ride will really enjoy this movie. I strongly recommend it.
This movie did not live up to my expectations at all. The movie trailer was epic - the film was... not. The acting was pretty awful from everyone. It's incredibly cheesy and yet very adult-themed. Here are some keywords that describe what I think the director of this film WANTED it to be like: Tim Burton-esque, abstract, comedic, tragic, cartoon-like. Sounds pretty good, huh? Well now I'll give you some keywords as to how this film turned out: over-the-top and dumb. The storyline is pretty weak as well. I have not read the graphic novel which the movie was based upon, but I'm guessing that the screenwriters left a lot out of the original story. So much that they totally missed the point of it altogether. And some scenes are just... so... fake... I mean, I really don't know what to say about them. Maybe it was the acting. Maybe it was the screenwriting. Maybe it was the directing. I really don't know, I just know that it's bad. Like when the Octopus and the Spirit are fighting in the beginning... I mean it just kept going on, and on, and on, and on until you wanted to punch someone yourself! Personally, I find annoying when fight scenes consist of "taunt, punch, fall, laugh it off, repeat". The reason I gave this film two stars is because the concept is interesting. Why did I do that? I don't know. It's not like it was an original concept anyway seeing as there was a graphic novel before the movie. But I would definitely be interested to see if in the future someone can pull together a better version of this film. Let me clearify: PLEASE REMAKE. NO SEQUEL. KAYTHANKS.
The Spirit of the Cartoon
I thought the Spirit was the most outrageous, over-the-top, FUN movie of the entire year. Speaking as someone who actually read the majority of Eisner's original Spirit strips, I felt it was very true to the feeling and content of the source material, in that it was moody and violent while ultimately whimsical and cartoonish. Many scenes and even a couple lines were copped directly from the old strips. On a visual level, the film is stunning. Even if you don't like the story, you can just turn off the sound and LOOK at the thing and be perfectly satisfied for the entire hour forty-five. All the actors play their cartoon-character roles well. Samuel Jackson and Scarlet Johanson in particular run away with the fun of their parts, while Gabriel Macht perfectly encapsulates the adolescent charm of the Spirit (also, I love the new outfit. The red tie gives it a bold splash of color, while the black makes more sense to me, the moviegoer. Sexier, too). Not much is done with the character of Ellen Dolan, but all the others are very well portrayed, or at least very, very easy to look at. It's fatal weakness is that it requires audience participation. You have to get into it, to be ready and willing to like it. Spirit directly addresses the audience at times, engaging you and asking your help. It's a lot like live theatre in some respects. And because he's not wearing the blue coat, half the audience is frowning before he even says his first line. Me, I was ready to like it. And I did. A lot. This'll be three times I've seen it now, with a different person each time. I get it. I love it. Dark Knight was a better film, but this was so much more FUN. So: Frank Miller's Spirit. Two thumbs up. Dan Schkade approved.
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Released: 2008
- © 2008 The Spirit LLC. All Rights Reserved. "The Spirit" Trademark is Owned by Will Eisner Studios, Inc. and Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.