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*** Official THE SPIRIT Review Thread (1 Viewer)

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1999
Yep, a horrible movie. If I were any of the actors in this film, I'd be ashamed of cashing my paycheck from working on this film. It was like the perfect storm of crappy filmmaking: stupid plot, bad bad acting, clueless and lackluster directing, and far too much reliance on green-screen to create this world.

Only Paz Vega's appearance as Plaster of Paris prevents me from giving it an F, so I give it 1 star or a grade of D.

Jason Seaver

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1997
It is, at least, if you're the type to consider this a consolation, the gloriously bad product of a single lunatic. In a way, it's kind of delightful in its wrong-headedness. Miller was trying to be whimsical, but his idea of whimsical is almost completely different from Will Eisner's, and the result is this utterly insane thing where I'm never sure whether or not Miller's serious or self-parodying.

Understand, it's still a pretty darn bad movie, there's no way those two sequels happen, and I have no idea why Lionsgate thought this deserved a wide release and The Midnight Meat Train deserved spite. But it's a whole heck of a lot more enjoyable than watching some bland piece of work that the studio has cut to ribbons or reshot to try to make it normal.

Robert Crawford

Senior HTF Member
Dec 9, 1998
Real Name
This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Spirit". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Oct 5, 2005
Lee Summit, Missouri
Real Name
This is a film that passes an unusual litmus test. Some films are so bad they just can't be watched again, for me, that includes films like "North", "Postcards from the Edge", etc. But then there are some films that are so bad that they tilt and become laughable, humorous sendups I could watch a hundred times talking back at the screen like Mystery Science Theater. This falls into that category. As a film, it's terrible, don't waste your money.

But for home camp entertainment, if you want to poke fun, there are plenty of great moments to talk back.

Ray H

Senior HTF Member
Jun 13, 2002
Real Name
I was sort of entertained by this movie, but it is pretty bad. That being said, I don't think it's awful. There are elements that I really like, notably the three lead "good guys". I love The Spirit character - a goofy boy scout who falls in love with every woman he meets. I liked Dan Lauria as Commissioner Dolan, and there's genuine emotion to be mined from the Ellen Dolan character. Additionally, Sand Saref is decent but perhaps a bit too silly. I think if Frank Miller had stuck to these characters and if he'd known what to do with them, then the movie could at least have been a decent and character driven superhero movie, similar to the ones we've had throughout the summer.

Instead, Miller's script is all over the place and he's not a good enough director to pull it off. The villains are terrible. Samuel L. Jackson tested my patience, Louis Lombardi was annoying, and even Scarlett Johansson didn't make the movie any better (in fact, she was kinda bad). As Patrick mentioned, Paz Vega is a stunner, but as far as her brief appearance goes, WTF?! Actually, that's an apt question for much of the movie. As Jason stated, Miller tries to go for whimsy but ends up with plain weirdness.

Back to my comment about Miller not utilizing the lead characters well, take a look at the film's climax. Even though it probably wouldn't have saved the movie, everything was in place for a gripping and perhaps even emotionally satisfying finale (if you liked some of the main characters as I did). You have all your characters there, but Miller essentially allows the leads to drop out of the movie! The Spirit, Ellen, Sand, etc. are all neglected to focus on the wackiness that is Samuel L. Jackson. Sigh.

Also, early on, Miller got a lot of flack for going the Sin City route with the film's visuals. Was it well founded? Yeah, I think so. While half of the Spirit's appeal was probably the film's visuals, it adds very little to the film in my opinion. It only serves as a means to heighten the movie's absurdness. It neither looks as good nor is it as effective as the way it was employed in Sin City.

I'm kinda reminded of another whimsical & crazily CGI stylized flick that received negative reviews recently - Speed Racer. The difference is, I loved Speed Racer. Most of the negative reviews I've read just couldn't get over the film's style. I didn't have a problem with that element, but the movie itself is a very character driven and even emotional one. You care for the characters and the movie allows you to feel for them in a satisfying manner. That's certainly not the case here.

Anyway, the movie became something of a joke. Additionally, Miller's script just seemed to be too self referential and, well, odd. A shame since I liked the lead characters and was looking forward to this one despite the negative buzz. Oh well.

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