12/24/08

The Spirit: Get Into It

The Spirit was probably the first comic book movie that didn't take itself seriously and actually FELT like watching a comic book. The unique styling of cinematic allowed the watcher to feel like he was watching a live-action action cartoon such as the WB's Batman cartoon series with real people. The dialog and the action would sometimes lend itself to a unique brand of humor that I think comic aficionados would appreciate. I liked the overall movie because of the light treatment of a dark fare. That being said, it's probably not for everyone.

Some might accuse the movie of being too over-the-top. Which is funny because that's its charm. The story of the Spirit really wouldn't have the same feel if it was given a Spider-Man treatment. And it definitely wouldn't work to turn it into another Dark Knight. Besides the fact I don't think the newbie actor, Gabriel Macht (The Spirit), has the chops to match the performance of Christian Bale as Batman, the whole concept just doesn't lend itself to a realistic portrayal. I think they did a fantastic job of portraying the source material, but for many the source material would be uninteresting and corny.

So really this is where comic book movies separate the true fans from the people looking for some eye-candy. The true fans will enjoy the story-book feel of The Spirit, but, while there is plenty of eye-candy to be had, eye-candy is never enough to solely keep one's attention. The casual viewer should watch at his own risk and be prepared to get into the spirit of The Spirit before sitting down. It's a comic portrayal of a crime fighter who can never die. And I do mean comic - like, funny ha-ha kind of comic. Pretend you're sitting down to read the Sunday comics section of the newspaper. You'll get a chuckle here and there and there's a pretty good story to follow, but it's definitely not to be considered one of the greatest movies of all time by any stretch of the imagination.

The imagery will capture you and the story will entertain you because while the execution may be corny, it's just corny enough so that it works. It helps if you picture speech bubbles coming from their mouths when they talk.