The Spirit
by Tasha Robinson April 28, 2009


• Turning Will Eisner’s iconic series about a heroic Boy Scout type into an overwrought, sexed-up noir version of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight books

• Echoing the all-green-screen, high-contrast, slo-mo-then-sped-up look of 300 and Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, for an aesthetic that looks cheap and shallow

• Having no sense of pacing or momentum

• Giving the actors terrible, cheesy lines, then letting them get away with horrifically flat or cartoonishly emphatic line-readings

Defenders: Writer-director Frank Miller, producer Deborah Del Prete

Tone of commentary: Playful, teasing, collegial, and weirdly at odds with the film’s overwrought, fakey grittiness. Both participants sound like they’re constantly on the verge of laughter, with Del Prete frequently giggling. Their verbal volleying is cheesy, but they’re far more lighthearted and fun to spend time with than the movie is: When Miller turns up in a bit role, Del Prete says “Oh, look at that actor! We had to go very far and wide to find the actor to play this role.” Miller responds “Isn’t that Anthony Hopkins?” Del Prete cracks up. Later, when his character is decapitated, she brings his role up again. Miller says gravely, “Deborah is not a nice woman.” She cackles again and ripostes “I’m lovely.”

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