Film Review: The Spirit

“…I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet…but your kids are gonna love it!” – Marty McFly, Back to the Future (1985)

It looks like the public just wasn’t ready for an over the top spectacle like The Spirit. Screw The Dark Knight for ruining chances of another comic book themed film achieving any sort of success! I am fresh off seeing The Spirit and my first reaction is that it traveled right over people’s heads. The storytelling in the film isn’t typical, and it’s appearance isn’t easy to adjust to, but I found these aspects enhanced what might’ve otherwise been a generic film based on a lesser known comic book character. 
Gabriel Macht was a perfect choice for The Spirit, and pretty much seems like he could play ANY super hero for that matter and knock the role out of the ball park. The role was campier than I expected, but also serious, and thankfully not too serious. For guys at least, the eye candy is tremendous. We get to see Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson (among others) glam it up in old school style as they fog up the screen seductively. If you’re not convinced yet, The Spirit contains one HOT fleeting Eva Mendes ass-shot which I found to be highly agreeable. But if for some reason you’re not into hot ass shots and Scarlett Johansson’s voluptuous…uh…lips, then by all means, go and enjoy the fine work of Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus! Even though Samuel L. will be Samuel L. whether he’s playing Jules Winnfield or Mace Windu, it really doesn’t matter because he’s just a lot of fun to watch because he enjoys his job so much. 
Don’t go into it expecting Superman, or Iron Man, because this is a very different film. The Spirit is highly stylized and at first you aren’t sure if you’re supposed to laugh or cringe. When in doubt, laugh! This is a movie based off a comic book dammit! I’ve read critics’ reviews that have bashed this film for every detail including “I didn’t like the fact that The Spirit had to punch Octopus so many times.” Are you kidding me? If you can’t handle how a comic book would look on the big screen, then don’t waste your time. This is a comic book movie etched in retro style that isn’t brooding and marinated in realism, so if that appeals to you, I suggest you see The Spirit before it disappears from theaters. Well, I’m not pressuring you to go to the theater of course, especially since the DVD will probably get released in a few weeks. Still, I plunked down the cash to see it and I’ll definitely be shelling out more when it hits on Blu-Ray.