Movie Details: View Here
Samuel L. Jackson
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1 Color
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Run Time: 108 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Above shadowy, crime-infested streets a masked avenger watches. Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) was once Central City's finest cop until a gangster's bullet ended his life. Now Fate has brought him back from the beyond as The Spirit, a street-hardened hero who faces off against seductive foes like the voluptuous Sand Saref (Eva Mendes) or the alluring Silken Floss (Scarlett Johansson). Then, of course, there's his evil archenemy, The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), with a mission to wipe out Spirit's beloved city as he pursues his own version of immortality in this graphic action-thriller!
I know I'm going to be in the minority here, but I thoroughly enjoyed "The Spirit." Mind you, "Sin City" is one of my all-time favorites, and this is no "Sin City," though it does look a lot like it, but where some see bad dialogue and shallow characters, I see fun. I have no basis in the Will Eisner comic, but "The Spirit" definitely looks and feels like a comic book, even if it's not Eisner's.
Young lovers Denny and Sand are torn apart by the death of Sand's policeman father, her need for shiny things, and his all-around goodness. She heads to Europe, he becomes a cop himself - and while Sand embarks on a life of jewelry thievery and international bling, Denny is shot in the line of duty and dies. Not quite dead, though, Denny is reborn as The Spirit (Gabriel Macht), a red-tie wearing superhero type that saves the city from criminals and never takes off his mask. Fate's fate, though, and a villain known as The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) and his shady ways inadvertently bring The Spirit face to face with grown up Sand (Eva Mendes) and lead him to a showdown for the city against a seemingly invincible enemy.
Like I said, "The Spirit" is a long way from "Sin City," but the things I loved are still there, just not executed as well. For one, even the people who hated this movie give up that it's a visually beautiful film, and its noir with red comic thing works just right. The other thing, though, the thing that loses a lot of viewers, is what they call the bad dialogue. See, I don't see it as bad dialogue - to me, bad dialogue is the stuff that comes out of character mouths in movies that are trying to exist within the realm of reality, trying to sound like "real people" talking. "The Spirit" is a celluloid comic book-all its missing are little white bubbles above their heads. Everything is exaggerated - the characters, the dialogue, even the fight noises that actually sound like "Pow!" and "Smack!" It's a lovely, campy mess. And Jackson - oh, the scenery this man chews up and doesn't even bother to spit out as The Octopus. The ideal actor for a role that requires no iota of taking itself seriously, Jackson is simply awesome.
I think because I'm kind of geek-y, and because I enjoyed the movie, the two-disc Special Edition seemed to have some nice Extras. Always a fan of seeing how things get done, "Green World" is a featurette that details all the green screenery that goes in to making a film like this; the other featurette, "Miller on Miller," takes a look at the stuff Frank Miller's done. Also fun - because, again, he's just a hoot-is an alternate storyboard ending voiced by Jackson (and Macht). Included as well are Audio Commentary by Miller and producer Deborah Del Prete, the theatrical trailer, and a digital copy of the film.
Mark my words, someday, some vocal group of people will stand up and tell the world this is a better film than it ever got credit for. For now, tough, if you're looking for a comic book on screen, complete with cheesy dialogue and over the top villains, just enjoy "The Spirit" and offer no apologies.