The Spirit

The SpiritUSA, 2008

Director: Frank Miller
Starring: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Eric Balfour, Paz Vega, Scarlett Johansson, Jaime King
IMDB: 5.1

The Spirit may be one of those movies you either love or hate. With a 5.1 rating on imdb, it seems the average movie-goer doesn't care much for this movie. But then, I rarely agree with the average movie-goer anyway. And this is no exception.

Perhaps many won't like its seemingly derivative nature, as The Spirit uses the exact same visual style as Robert Rodriguez' Sin City. But this is no surprise given it's directed by Frank Miller, and for me its a style that works perfectly for a film-noir comic-adaptation such as this. Like Sin City, it just looks amazing.

The cast has got talent to burn, even accomplished Spanish actress Paz Vega has only a small role as the exotic Plaster of Paris. But this movie is dominated by the performances of Samuel L Jackson (as The Octopus) and Scarlett Johansson (as Silken Floss). Their interplay is worth the price of admission alone. And as usual for SLJ he gets to have his signature rant - this time espousing against eggs, in general (the reason for which is unexplained, unless I missed something).

Eva Mendes ups the babe factor and does a passable job as a film-noir moll, she may or may not be a terrific actress, but I think that's beside the point here. She provides the glamour that is needed, backed up by a bevy of supporting dames in minor roles.

What I really liked about the movie may be what a lot of people didn't - some scenes are just downright trippy! You have to admire a director who is prepared to stray from the norm and create something a bit different. This gives the film a more adult feel, but the tiny excursions into la-la land may put some people off who like things to follow the usual formula.

In summary, this is a fantastic looking movie that is a lot of fun to watch. You get to see SLJ in action, and there's some great eye candy too. Many may compare it to Sin City and feel it comes up short, but I say take it for what it is and enjoy. This is very accomplished and creative film-making, and personally I'm hoping for many more movies in this style.

Rating: 7.5/10

Screenshots - click to enlarge


Johnny 666 said...

Yeah, I have been debating about watching this one for awhile. Too many people keep telling me to steer clear, but fuck it, I may just give it a bash. Thanks for the review!

Ventilation Shaft said...

Great review. I immensely enjoyed "Sin City", and I'm also a lover of this particular visual style.

I would've probably went and see it in cinema, but with it not being a blockbuster, the local distributors just skipped it (while "Hottie & the Nottie" got a theatrical release, for example).

Anyway, I'll definitely check it out.


Let me know what you think guys. I don't think its as good as Sin City, but then if I compared every movie against Sin City then there wouldn't be much I'd like! This is still a great entry into this style of film-making - hope you enjoy it too.

Ventilation Shaft said...

I watched "The Spirit" yesterday. And I liked it way more than I imagined I would. In some instances even more than "Sin City".

I can't understand why the critics panned it. Well, actually I can - because they're stupid.

Samuel L. Jackson's performance is epic!

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