“Somebody get me a tie. And it sure as hell better be red.”
One of the only great things about The Spirit (Frank Miller, 2008) is its visual style. Telling a superhero story with suave pizzazz, Miller makes another moving-image graphic novel, in direct genesis of 2005’s Sin City, for which he shares directing credits with Robert Rodriguez. Yet even with this mastery of the cinematic graphic novel, and with powerful beauties Eva Mendes and Silken Floss as good vs. evil, this film cannot be saved, nor can it be called a good one. Miller does give his film a vivid and ubiquitous city soundscape which definitely helps, but unfortunately the plot weaving in and out of the city can only struggle to make sense, without success. Even the Spirit’s vocal homage to his city at the film’s end cannot rouse an audience connection with it. The Spirit stays as cold as the swamp which opens the film – just read the comics I say (which I did, and they are remarkably unsatisfying) and watch Sin City, it will be more rewarding.