The movie succeeds when there’s banter and decent actors, but when two guys are just beating the crap out of each other it’s almost always hilarious, but as Frank Miller tries to evoke emotions of ache and loss the film only appears comical(and not in the good way). Stylistically, though, the film is beautiful. However, it is inconsistent. Whereas a film like Sin City maintains a specific style throughout all its tales, The Spirit ricochets from various styles with no clear transitions from one scene to another. The film and I use the term film quite loosely, while being gorgeous in spots and very funny in others is nothing more than a cartoon.
As always one or two actors/actresses in a film will catch my eye and this time it’s Scarlett Johansson. She is spectacular as a Silken Floss, the sarcastic, female-fatale sidekick to the Octopus (Played by Samuel L Jackson). Her deadpan remarks and acting alone redeem some of the lacking moments of the movie. It’s hard to describe how funny she actually is in the movie; I just know I now have a major craving to see Ghost World. Also, Samuel L. Jackson! He really is funny as the Octopus. If I ever make or write an action film, I want those two in it.
The Spirit doesn’t get a grade. Mainly because it’s a cartoon and I have no idea what I would give it if I was grading it.
Happy New Year!
Joel Berntsen; currently listening to Devil’s Haircut by Beck