Miller, who's only previous film experience was co-directing Sin
with Robert Rodriguez, packs this green screen attrocity with a nonsensical stream
of gaudy design choices and satirical overkill. Restraint is a superpower this man definitely lacks. The story, which follows a resurrected cop who battles
Samuel L. Jackson for god blood and immortality serum, barely
maintains a cohesive flow of imagery to constitute a narrative. The movie utilizes design and costumes from the 1940s, but the inclusion of stripper outfits and missile launchers begs the question of why Lionsgate allowed hormonal preteen boys to start writing their scripts.
The visuals are the lone asset with frames that shine like desaturated oil paintings, but completely lack finesse when strung together into jarring cuts and lingering stretches. The overwrought radio-show acting (Samuel Jackson plays an ADD auto-pilot composite of his previous roles) and disgustingly obtuse dialogue should have alerted a studio head to take this entire project behind a barn and send it to development hell.
This is embarrassing fan fiction with a budget. The
noir sensibility that Eisner invented is mutilated into graphic novel pornography, producing a film that will rest in peace as a cult failure
that's as laughable in its misexecution as it's tragic in its failed
Watch the trailer for The Spirit: