Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Spirit: Yay for movies coming out on Christmas

Hitting the theaters on Christmas Day was The Spirit by Frank Miller. Based on Will Eisner's comic, The Spirit followed a long trend of comic book movies. Like its predecessors, The Spirit takes basic ideas from many of the comics and tries to make a single cohesive story. In The Spirit's case, the idea is success. However, the plot is a basic film noir, who did what and why story. It is not exceptional, and not worth the price to see it in the theaters. However, The Spirit is not just a film noir. It's not even mostly a film noir. It is a neo noir comedy. It is held together by great lines and absurd situations.

At first glance The Spirit is a Sin City copy. A comic book style done in a semi-black and white, with color accents. However, The Spirit does not try to nor does it feel at all like Sin City. They may share a conceptual cinematography, but that is all. The Spirit takes the 40's feel, the decade in which the comic first appeared in newspapers. The character the Spirit is a skirt chaser that uses it to his advantage and it is endearing. He is not greasy or scheming when he does it. He is just a masked man in his decade. The look and feel reminds me of classic Batman, dark and beautiful. The costumes are beautiful, reminding me of a golden age. Frank Miller takes the time period and his unique style and gives the movie a classic noir feel that works in this decade.

The Spirit is not for the serious. The villain is so over the top he is beyond the moon. Samuel L. Jackson is the only person who could play a psychotic genius with such results. He is hilariously crazy with some great lines. The one liners from most of the characters makes the movie side splitting. Do not expect the serious scenes to dominate. This mixed genre movie is carried by the humor.

I'd recommend seeing it, if you are a fan of movies that do not follow conventional genre rules.

Overall I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5.

Merry Christmas (or just happy December if you do not celebrate the holiday),
J.R West the Raccoon

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