By RavenFace

December 18, 2008

Let’s get it out of the way. The Spirit, in wide release Dec. 25th, is not a straight-forward adaptation of the Will Eisner comic strip. That always seems to be the “concern” of the comic fan, and it rings hollow, a standard applied to justify having read the source material. In essence, by asking if something is “faithful” to the source, they are saying, “I’ve read this, and I want credit for it. I did Prague before they built the McDonalds. I was into The Strokes back when they played in my friend’s loft.” Get over yourself, Spirit “fan,” a movie needs to be judged on its own merits. The majority of people who see it have never heard of the character, don’t want to hear you talk about it and don’t want fries with that.

Spirit / Macht

So, what will they find, this fresh new audience? After the previews (through which many will have fingers crossed for a glimpse of Terminator Salvation), they will be met with a disembodied voice over and a floating woman’s unseen face, all stabby light and murky moan, calling for the soul of the Spirit. It’s disorienting, but hope remains. We’ve just started, and maybe the light will clear up and we’ll see her. She might be hot! Then some credits and some atmosphere, and then Eva Mendes rising from the water, and it’s unclear whether or not she has super powers or maybe she’s the same woman from the pre-credit sequence, and then The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) is talking about eggs and throwing a toilet at The Spirit (Gabriel Macht), and people are killed but don’t die and you realize it’s a cartoon. You’ve unwittingly paid to see an homage to Merrie Melodies.

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