Reviewed by Steven Kiernan
Stars Jaime King, Eva Mendes, Gabriel Macht, Frank Miller,
Scarlett Johansson, Eric Balfour, Samuel L Jackson, Louis Lombardi, Dan Gerrity, Sarah Paulson
Written by Frank Miller & Will Eisner
Certification UK 12A | US PG-13
Runtime 108 minutes
Directed by Frank Miller
Which socially awkward teenage lad wouldn’t have wanted to be Frank Miller? One minute he’s god of the fanboys, lauded in comic book circles for his cerebral graphic novels, next minute he’s box office gold and hanging with Rodriguez and Tarantino. After Sin City and 300 stormed the cinemas, it was always going to be a question of what will Miller do next? Turns out he would jump behind the lens to dole out a tepid rehash of Will Eisner’s Golden Age strip, The Spirit.
Chiselled new kid Macht plays the rookie cop from the mean streets, murdered then mysteriously raised from the dead as the invincible titular crimestopper. Cue crazed villain The Octopus (Jackson) and let the black-and-white battle of good versus evil amid generic cityscapes commence. Like the plot, the visuals are monochromatic, this Sin-City-alike borrowing the formula right down to the occasional splashes of primary colours.
But where Bruce Willis’ stilted noir-ish voiceover gave Sin City an air of The Maltese Falcon, here Macht’s hardboiled dialogue just makes The Spirit a turkey. Mendes and Johansson’s tough-talking broads aren’t even enough to save it, though they might just be enough to coax Miller’s horde of fanboys through the turnstiles.