Paul Cook 09/01/2009
Whether you're a fan on Quentin Tarantino and/or Robert Rodriguez or not, it's hard to argue that 'Sin City' was a bad film. Innovatively filmed and edited with a distinct visual style and cleverly interwoven story lines the 2005 comic book adaptation was a hit and has gained a deserved cult status. It will baffle many people then to find that 'The Spirit', another dark, comic book adaptation is so horrifically poor on all levels that not a single minute of it is enjoyable.
'Sin City' was based on a graphic novel written by Frank Miller and 'The Spirit' is his directorial effort. That's where the similarities end. Where Sin City is slick, in-your-face stylistic cinema, Miller's 'The Spirit' is at best an amateur effort to emulate it. It's plot is confusing, characters shallow and unbelievable, scriptwriting utterly senseless and misguided and a basic visual effect done badly.
'The Spirit' boasts A-listers like Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson but the performances given are simply embarrassing for both performer and audience. With one of the worst-written scripts in recent years not a lot could have been expected of the actors other than to have axed the film as soon as it went into production. Mind-boggling use of green screen, rather than providing the viewer with enhanced visuals and aesthetics, instead add CGI in places where it isn't needed and highlight the areas where better CGI would have been essential.
Thank God 'Sin City 2' is on the horizon with visionary directors Tarantino and Rodriguez at the helm because 'The Spirit' is bad enough to put anyone off comic-book movies for good.