Dropkick gets into The Spirit of the season

ok look,
I love shitty movies. I do, that's my thing.
I mean, it's not my only thing. I like a lot of quality flicks too, it's just that i get all gitty about the crap. I mean the real horrid crap.
I LOVE Doom, I LOVE Speed Racer, I LOVE The Rundown, I LOVE Cool World.
When i want to relax and be entertained i throw on a Spiderman or a Star War, not a Herzog film.
So when I woke up on Christmas morning and read the reviews for The Spirit i was ecstatic.

A quick search on Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes will show you, it is one of the worst reviewed films of the year.
Roger Ebert says "There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material"
Rotten Tomatoes has The Spirit at 15% of freshness, while metacritic has The Spirit at 33% out of a possible 100% in... goodness.

All these poor reviews only made me want to watch it more. I learned soon after watching Speed Racer that complete escapism isn't well received nowadays. I don't know if it ever was. But highly stylized escapism, no substance - that's the kinda flick i get going about. Flicks like these are the cult favorites of tomorrow. And that's what the Spirit is. Yeah, it's a piece of shit now but in 20 years people are gonna be watching this at midnight in rundown cinemas yelling out lines and cheering and throwing their own poop at the screen.

It's a flick with absolutely no redeeming qualities.
The acting is shite, the "directing" is totally shite, the plot is complete shite, and the look of the film was just borrowed from Sin City - The other film Frank Miller directed.
Funny because this film plays much like a Sin City yarn, only longer... much longer and less hard boiled.

What makes this flick so gosh darn unique is the absurdity of the whole thing. Why is our hero an unlikeable womanizing detective who is in love with his city? Why is Samuel Jackson giving an over dramatic monologue in a Nazi uniform while Scarlett Johansson, also in Nazi uniform, keeps piping in standing in front of a giant photo of Hitler? Why are all the women barely clothed? Why is Sam Jackson dressed as a cowboy? Why is Eva Mendez photocopying her ass? Why is The Spirit making out with the angel of death? Why is Jackson now a samurai with giant sideburns? What in the hell is happening in this movie anyways?

Hey, i paid 13 bucks to watch this thing and still have no answers.

The Spirit is based on an old Detective serial from the 40's, much like Dick Tracy it follows a detective solving crimes and romancing the "dames". What Miller has done here seems to deviate from the original comic. Although I've never read it myself I knew it WASN'T about a guy who died and woke up days later in his coffin with superpowers which is what this film is about. Here The Spirit is invincible and curiously enough his arch nemesis "The Octopus" (played by the craziest Samuel L. Jackson doing Samuel L. Jackson ever committed to film) also has the same power. The story is split between The Spirit wanting to know the why of his resurrection and him tracking down his lost childhood love Sand Seref (played by the bust busting Eva Mendez) who has become involved in the affairs, mistakenly, between Spirit and Octo... i think. It is, much like Frank Millers comic work, a love letter to film and pulp noir. If you focus on those elements of the film there's some fun to be had but Miller decides to also make this film a parody on detective serials, and comic book superheroes in general. Now that sounds intriguing but combined with all these different elements the film falls flat of successfully being a tribute or parody of any genre.
Instead the film becomes completely flat lined, a low steady hum that never changes its tone. This will drive most people who see this film insane.
But if you enjoy hanging around Central City (the mythic metropolis the story takes place in) and the hyper stylized noir campy world it embodies, you'll feel a little out of place but you'll know there are worse places you could be. *cough* Twilight

I say pass until the dvd release and then rent it from us. it will be most enjoyed if aged 10-20 years though so don't get too anxious.

With Love,
Kid Kadar


La Sporgenza said...

Good review Kris

Still want to see this if only for the hyper-stylized Miller "look".

the coelacanth said...

Good review Kris

Still want to see this if only for the boobs.