My Thoughts on Upcoming Comic Book movie, “the Spirit”

November 10, 2008

Well, this Christmas we get to see yet another spectacular multi-million dollar comic book movie put out by Frank Miller, complete with that distinctive Frank Miller look. It looks every bit as stylized and surealistically beautiful as Sin City (2005) and 300 (2006) was. The legion of lovely actresses and the presence of the cinematic legend that is Samuel L. Jackson should make any movie goer tremble with excitement.

Instead, the last couple trailers make the film look just plain odd.

While the film injects strong neo noir conventions into a beautifully dramatized landscape, there isn’t anything in the trailer to suggest that the film has any substance. In fact, it doesn’t even reveal much in the way of a plot. All we get is a steady stream of femme fatales, which is admittedly nice because we rarely see much of them any more. Now we get at least five or six in just one movie, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes among them! This Spirit guy must be a studly love-machine to have this many girls after him. Or maybe he is just the horniest comicbook hero alive…

While much of the plot may remain a mystery, the character of the Spirit is a little more clear. He is a classic mix of action hero and noir anti-hero. He leaps from rooftop to rooftop, answering any woman than cries out for him and killing his villians “all kinds of dead”. All the while in a fedora and a red tie. Even his proffessed love for his urban jungle brings film noir to mind.  You don’t exactly get that much any more. Aside from the rooftop thing, where is the comicbook hero?

Well, apparently this guy can recover from fatal blows. Oddly this hero reminds me of “the Phantom” and “the Shadow”, both of which are vintage characters from radio serials and early comics. Both characters recieved film adapations in the 90’s, although neither did remarkably well. The Shadow (1994) in particular had a noirish asthetic. Is it possible that the Spirit can prosper where the Shadow failed? Only the Shadow knows. Heh.

Well, maybe not. Many of the lines taken out of the movie are very silly and quite preposterous. In one trailer there is a clip of Samuel Jackson dressed as a Nazi…see, the whole effect of being a white supremecist only works if the person is white. Aside from Jackson’s odd wardrobe, this film looks like it could be interesting. If it lives up to Frank Miller’s previous films, that would be both a relief and a surprise.

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One Response to “My Thoughts on Upcoming Comic Book movie, “the Spirit””

  1. Rant Howard Says:

    Wow, I’ve been so behind on my blog while you’ve updated yours! The “Mother” trilogy is partially to blame for that :)

    Sorry I haven’t responded to your comments faster — WordPress alerts me to so many spam/automated comments that I forget what an actual response looks like.

    About “The Spirit”: my money’s on Jackon’s character wearing a mask for much of the movie before a big reveal.


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