Apr 14 2009
See that up there? That’s Samuel L. Jackson in a Nazi uniform. Kind of crazy, isn’t it?
Well, that’s actually one of the most sane things about The Spirit, which I reviewed on Special 2-Disc DVD. I was eagerly awaiting the movie when I heard it was going to be released, as I wanted to see what Frank Miller could do with real power. Of course, as more trailers got released, I kind of lost interest because it looked (frankly) bad. Actually, it looked terrible, and that was my mistake.
Is The Spirit a good movie? No, not in the sense that Citizen Kane is a good movie. Is it consistently crazy, visually stunning, and endlessly entertaining? Hell yes! In an era where The Dark Knight makes all superhero movies serious, brooding, and hyperviolent, The Spirit is a direct response to that trend. It’s Frank Miller saying (as he has done with All Star Batman and Robin), “Hey, Christopher Nolan! It’s okay to smile; it’s a friggin’ comic book! You can be goofy if you want!”
Sometimes it’s okay to have fun with a movie, especially if it’s based off a kinda goofy comic strip from The Olden Days. It’s reverent to the look and style of Will Eisner’s original strips, but there’s no doubt it’s Frank Miller’s project all the way. That alone should help weed out those who can’t embrace the madness.