Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
The first movie reviews of Frank Miller‘s adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit have begun to hit the interwebs, and it doesn’t look good.
Variety: “Frank Miller’s solo writing-directing debut plunges into a watery grave early on and spends roughly the next 100 minutes gasping for air. Pushing well past the point of self-parody” … “There’s a lot going on here, but none of it sticks — not the shopworn plotting nor the arch, stilted dialogue. The actors often seem to be delivering their lines in ironic quote marks, suggesting a straight-faced sendup of noir and comicbook conventions that, whatever the intended effect, falls mostly flat.”
AICN: “I’ve seen something that has taken the top prize from “Battlefield Earth.” … “Okay, Mr. Miller. Let’s get it on.” … “Seriously, it’s not. You clearly don’t have any idea what you’re doing. Someone, ANYONE, over at Lionsgate should have known this. Fuck, it’s their JOB to know this. But they didn’t.” … “Folks, this movie is that bad. I heartily recommend it if you have a strong stomach and an even stronger sense of Bad-Movie-Love. Otherwise, steer clear.”
Unique Geek: “The Spirit starts off crazy when we expect serious, then tries to pull it back in, then goes for weird juvenile sight gags then tries to be tough, and we’re disoriented. Theres also a pathlogical fascination with a prop photocopy of Mendes’ rump. If you took a shot every time the camera cuts to it, you would be wasted by the third act, and maybe “wasted” is the right word to end with here. There’s a lot of work and opportunity that went by the wayside here, a lot of talented people and some great source material that never quite gels. The parts that look good, look good, but maybe next time, they’ll hire a fox to put it all together.”
Newsarama: “The Spirit does a precarious balancing act juxtaposing great moments and terrible ones, leaving audiences likely be split over which makes the greater impression.” … “The mosh of comedic banter and noir-ish drama worked well for the most part, but ultimately, those aforementioned moments of potential that flash and peek out now and again are too far and few between to save The Spirit from being a disappointment..”