The Spirit

Film image

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner5/01/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Miller's adaptation certainly looks impressive and the female characters are all drop-dead gorgeous in a Sin City way, but the script and story are all over the place and it never really comes together.

What's it all about?
Based on the comic books by Will Eisner, The Spirit is written and directed by Sin City author Frank Miller and stars Gabriel Macht as ex-cop Denny Colt, who is now apparently immortal after being killed and somehow brought back to life. Adapting the masked persona of The Spirit, he prowls the streets of his beloved Central City, fighting crime and doing battle with criminal mastermind The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson).

However, when drop-dead gorgeous jewel thief Sand Saref (Eva Mendes) blows into town, The Spirit finds himself caught up in a case that might hold the key to his mysterious resurrection. Meanwhile, The Octopus teams up with stunning villainess Silken Floss (Scarlett Johansson) and a series of cloned henchmen (all played by Louis Lombardi) in order to take down both The Spirit and Sand Serif.

The Good
The Spirit uses the same stunning high-contrast visuals that Miller learned from his collaboration with Robert Rodriguez on Sin City. As such, the cityscapes look stunning, while the female characters all look like '50s-era pin-ups – indeed, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega (as exotic dancer Plaster of Paris) and Jaime King (as Lorelei) are probably the main reason to see the film, with their elaborate hairstyles and borderline fetish-style costumes.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the tone of the film is all over the place, as if Miller can't decide whether he's making a knockabout comedy (an early fight scene involves a lot of mud and The Octopus hitting The Spirit with a toilet cistern), a hard-boiled thriller or an emotional drama. As a result, the comedy never works and the film never really gels together, though it does have the occasional good moment.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Spirit is very much a case of style over substance and is ultimately disappointing. Shame.

Film Trailer

The Spirit
Be the first to review The Spirit...
02 The Kitchen (tbc)

Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss,...

03 Blinded By The Light (tbc)

Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams, Hayley Atwell, Kulvin...

04 2040 (tbc)

05 The Vanishing (tbc)

Peter Mullan, Gerard Butler, Emma King

Content updated: 21/01/2020 03:00

Latest Film Reviews



Hitwise Award Winner