The Spirit (2008)
Plot: After officer Denny Colt is killed, he is reborn as the Spirit (Gabriel Macht), a mysterious hero whose powers are still a mystery. He goes up against Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), an eccentric criminal who seeks Heracles blood, the path towards immortality.
This is an infuriating movie. Is this a joke, or just one of those pretentious ‘I’m smarter than you’ artsy-fartsy pieces of shit that you are supposed to take seriously? I have no clue! Whatever it is, it blows bags. This movie sucks. The acting is horrendous. The director (Frank Miller) has no idea what he’s doing. The actors, like me, aren’t sure if they are in a real movie or some sort of strange comedy. It’s really painful to watch. At one point they flash back to two of the main characters as teenagers, and its middle school play level acting that would be rejected by the CW audience. They desperately try to get by on Samuel L. Jackson being Samuel L. Jackson, but even that wears thin. Some of the actors have the right idea. I like Dan Lauria as the hard-nosed cop, Scarlett Johansson and Stana Katic are hamming it up just right, and Samuel L. Jackson is obviously entertaining. But the lead guy (Gabriel Macht) is a complete mess. He doesn’t know how to play this role, and it’s just cringe worthy watching his confusion as he bumbles along throughout this whole movie. And the film relies heavily on the performances. It’s infused with long painful dialogue scenes that just don’t end. So many of these scenes go on way too long, it’s like an endurance test. I never had to take so many Gatorade and bathroom breaks during a movie. It’s tortuous. And aside from the acting, it’s just random and weird. All of a sudden there’s an animated background, and then there’s a bouncing foot with a face on it…huh? What the hell is this? Is this a movie? It shifts from goofy to serious at warp speed like a tennis match. Yea, the visuals are interesting for about 5 minutes. It’s basically like Sin City. But they get old fast, and then you are left with nothing. Frank Miller is completely lost in the directing chair. The film almost wants to be a Naked Gun movie, but has absolutely no idea how to achieve it. Stay away.
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Really Atrocious)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Stana Katic as Morgenstern
-She plays a rookie cop and is very charismatic and funny. She’s one of the very few elements that work in this movie.
Worst Performance: Gabriel Macht as the Spirit
-It’s more so director Frank Miller’s fault, but this guy doesn’t have one decent moment. He’s either over the top, or way too serious. Whenever he speaks, I can’t take him seriously but he’s also never funny.
Best Line: “You’ll believe a man can’t fly.” –Random dude to the Spirit who’s jacket is caught on a building ledge
-A clever spin on a classic superhero tagline.
Worst Line: “You sold me out…making a perfect ass of yourself. A perfect ass.” –Sand Saref
-Sand Saref (Eva Mendes) is threatening this business associate as she randomly walks over to the copy machine, sits on it, and copies her ass. As she stares at the print out of her ass, she says the line ‘a perfect ass.’ Wow…Eva Mendes is referring to her own ass as ‘a perfect ass’ right in the middle of an actual movie…just wow.
-The only option is Spirit and Octopus at the beginning in what looks like a swamp. There isn’t much to say really. They hit each other with toilets and sinks…kind of dumb really.
-Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlet Johansson wear Nazi garb at one point…huh?
-The Spirit’s best moment is when he walks right out of the hospital and just immediately punches out a guy who’s stealing someone’s bag. The bag instantly flies into the Spirit’s hands as he hands it back to this squirrely guy with glasses who just says ‘Marry me?’ That was a fun scene.
-The worst exposition scene in the history of movies. Octopus has the Spirit tied up and he just rambles on about everything. Why the Spirit is so powerful, why he’s after the blood of Heracles, yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s just Octopus talking at the Spirit with no clever or interesting dialogue. It takes forever…Just excruciating.
-The part that made me laugh the most is when they leave it open for a sequel at the end…hahahaha, they thought there could be a sequel.
Bad Ass Moment:
-Rookie cop Morgenstern fires this big ass gun right at Octopus’ hand, taking it off.