Let’s get the synopsis for the film out of the way and then get to the meat of it: “Adapted from the Will Eisner’s graphic novels, The Spirit tells the story of a man who fakes his own death and fights crime from the shadows of Central City. The Octopus — who kills anyone unfortunate enough to see his face — has other plans. He’s going to wipe out the entire city. The Spirit tracks this cold-hearted killer from the city’s rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront…all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill the masked crusader.”
I’ve been waiting a long time to see Frank Miller’s version of The Spirit. I’ll start off by saying that. I have done my very best to ignore all the negative chatter and writing about it. I wanted to believe that if one person truly did respect creator Will Eisner enough and was even a friend of the late comic writer, it would be him. I don’t know why I would think that. Miller had actually gone on record stating that he really doesn’t like the way the original comics were colored and such, which to me is part of their glamour and history. The only real reason Miller even took on the job of making the film, was to selfishly keep someone else from doing it – or :ruining it”, as he more or less said.
Well, he didn’t really destroy The Spirit or bring shame upon Eisner or his creation. What we have with The Spirit movie is another rather lackluster superhero movie for people to not really get into. Let’s just say Miller didn’t help push the cause for anyone new to run out and pick up a copy of The Spirit Archives to get educated on the great American hero. I think most people who see this are going to walk away going, “Eh” and forgetting about the film almost immediately while heading to Blockbuster to rent Sin City or 300.
Did the movie suck? No. Was it cheesy with goofy dialogue? Of course it was. It was a movie about a comic book character from the 1940’s made to feel like a comic book. Does that work for everyone? No way. There are a lot of people out there who don’t think comic book dialogue translates well on film. I’m not going to argue about it, disagree, or agree. That’s just the way it is.
So you ask, “Is this movie worth seeing?” Well, if you’re a fan of The Spirit and the way it was written, you should definitely see it. It’s fun and quirky, just like the comics. If you’re expecting some serious, dark, brooding superhero film like The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, or The Punisher then this is probably not going to be your thing.
In the end, what I really wish is that Miller maybe have helped produce the film and let someone who truly loved the look and feel of the original comics take the director’s reins and really go with it. Maybe even kept The Spirit in his original time frame or something. That would have been different and set it apart. I think it has been proven time and time again, that period pieces really can work. Maybe it’s time to let a comic book hero be where and how he used to be. Just some ideas. Now I’m just rambling.