The Spirit Frank Miller

The Spirit Frank Miller
With two of his comic book titles successfully adapted to the silver screen, one with time served in the director's chair, it was inevitable that Frank Miller would be granted his own film project to helm. Much like Sin City and 300, Miller's adaptation of mentor Will Eisner's famous comic creation, The Spirit, is brought to life thanks to a heavy dose of CGI. However, the CGI of Sin City and 300 was all-encompassing, in order to engineer faithful recreations of their comic book worlds, but the CGI of The Spirit creates a slightly more realistic world that also attempts to imitate Eisner's innovative drawing style. Sometimes it can be a bit distracting, as with the shiny soles of the Spirit's Converse All-Stars or his flapping, bright red tie, but more often the special FX tend to be less obvious, like covering the background in shadows, imitating Eisner's time-constrained tendency to create backgrounds by focusing on one detailed area to represent the full picture, as Miller explains it in the ego-stroking commentary track he shares with producer Deborah Del Prete. It can be a lot of fun to look at but the story of one (possibly dead) man's loving quest to protect his city from the minions of evil mastermind the Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) and the slowly unravelling mystery of the Spirit's (Gabriel Macht) origin story are so simple the movie would fail to engage its audience without the eye candy. Still, The Spirit has a few other things going for it, like the pulp dialog that perfectly suits the film noir mood, a quick dive into the action thanks to the superhero undergoing his transformation prior to the start of the movie, an over-the-top villain and a host of hot femme fatales. While the alternative ending is not as satisfactory as the one that ended up being used, the bonus featurette on the freedom of filming with a green screen and the Miller on Miller interview are both very informative, especially for info on Will Eisner. The Spirit may not be a classic deserving of repeat viewings but it's still a fun little adventure. (Maple)