The Spirit

Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes

The Spirit is a Frank Miller adaptation of a DC Comics series started in the 40s.

It stars the beautiful Eva Mendes, and the not less beautiful Scarlett Johansson, alongside Samuel L. Jackson.

Frank Miller is a very unusual director and his movies are highly unique. Miller is a writer artist and film director, who originally wrote comic books, and that shows in his movies.

He directed the truly brilliant Sin City, where real footages were merged with a comic books overlay in a way never seen before.

He also produced 300, a movieĀ  of splendid computer generated images mixed with real shots. “The Spirit” follows in the same vein, with the comic books fantasy look overwhelming each scene.

Unfortunately, The Spirit is a much weaker creation than the two other movies. My feeling is that one significant difference stems from the leading actor. In Sin City, Mickey Rourke was amazing as the villain turned hero, genuine, powerful and unstoppable. Mickey truly melted into the comic books images.

In 300, Gerard Butler similarly was the perfect actor for the role of an antique Spartan King who personified glory in War. A true hero and brilliant general defending his country at all cost.

But in The Spirit, Gabriel Macht was too weak an actor for the role. Certainly a fine actor, he nevertheless does not have the personality to represent a convincing masked vigilante fighting crime when the City sleeps, as the Spirit likes to do.

The story follows the general line of DC comics books, with one superhero fighting an equally powerful villain criminal. Here the villain is the person of the “Octopus” (Samuel L. Jackson), whose quest for immortality imperils the entire city. The Spirit is the hero with similarities to Batman, helping the police but staying in the shadows and always keeping his mask.

The Octopus is assisted by his accomplice Silken Floss (Scarlet Johansson) and a herd of easily disposable genetically engineered clones. The Spirit is helped by femme fatale Sand Saref (Eva Mendes) who was his sweet heart from his previous life.

The Spirit does not remember who he is and the truth will be revealed by his arch-nemesis the Octopus, but let us keep the suspense intact.

The message of the movie: Frank Miller makes really beautiful movies.

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