The Spirit (2008) starring Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Dan Lauria, Scarlett Johansson, Louis Lombardi, Jaime King directed by Frank Miller Movie Review

The Spirit (2008)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Gabriel Macht in The Spirit (2008)

Watered Down Spirit

Masked vigilante, The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) finds himself coming up against bad guy The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) who is after something which master thief Sand Saref (Eva Mendes) has. But The Spirit has a connection with Sand Saref from before he turned invincible, mask wearing vigilante and it seems like he and The Octopus could be after the same thing.

I have never been one for comic books and as for comic book adaptations well I am of the mind less would be more, meaning I would rather not see so many comic book movies being made each year. I mention these things only to establish where I am when it comes to reviewing "The Spirit" a 2008 comic book adaptation from Frank Miller which employs that over saturated look which pushes close to being monochrome. And so whilst I have no idea how close it gets to the spirit of the original "The Spirit" character and comic books I know that it is did very little for me.

Eva Mendes in The Spirit (2008)

Now I like interesting stories, in fact I like movies where the storyline is the driving force with everything built around it. That doesn't seem to be the case here with the storyline coming down the pecking order. That in truth might not be such a bad thing as it is far too simple to be the driving force of the movie and frankly uninteresting which may come down to the simple fact that "The Spirit" are masked vigilante who helps the cops to clean up the streets is a little too similar to another more iconic comic book super hero.

What seems to be the case is that the look became the driving force of the movie with Miller once again going down the over saturated look which whilst initially interesting ends up dull. It is a case that the movie's look seems to have taken precedence over everything else which for those who just like to be entertained by pretty imagery it might be enough.

But what killed "The Spirit" for me was the tone as I have no idea whether it was intended to come across like a comic book parody or not because that is what it does. All those bits of corny comedy which use to go into the superhero movie of the 80s are here but so over the top that it seems to be trying to make fun of the genre. Yet it then switches to dramatic and serious scenes which seriously jar with the humorous tone. It makes it a movie which doesn't know what it is. And as such the actors don't know what they should be doing, should they be camping it up or trying to look and sound stylish.

What this all boils down to is that "The Spirit" ended up a big misfire to me with a tone which makes you completely unsure what the intention was. But it also features a weak storyline and a director whose love of an over saturated style ends up becoming annoying.