The Spirit (Blu-ray)

The Spirit Blu-ray

Which socially awkward teenage lad wouldn’t have wanted to be Frank Miller? One minute he’s god of the fanboys, lauded in comic book circles for his cerebral graphic novels, next minute he’s box office gold and hanging with Rodriguez and Tarantino.

After Sin City and 300 stormed the cinemas, it was always going to be a question of what will Miller do next? Turns out he would jump behind the lens to dole out a tepid rehash of Will Eisner’s Golden Age strip, The Spirit.

Chiselled new kid Macht plays the rookie cop from the mean streets, murdered then mysteriously raised from the dead as the invincible titular crimestopper. Cue crazed villain The Octopus (Jackson) and let the black-and-white battle of good versus evil amid generic cityscapes commence. Like the plot, the visuals are monochromatic, this Sin-City-alike borrowing the formula right down to the occasional splashes of primary colours.

But where Bruce Willis’ stilted noir-ish voiceover gave Sin City an air of The Maltese Falcon, here Macht’s hardboiled dialogue just makes The Spirit a turkey. Mendes and Johansson’s tough-talking broads aren’t even enough to save it, though they might just be enough to encourage Miller’s horde of fanboys to fork out the money to buy this thing.

EXTRAS ** An audio commentary with writer/director Miller and producer Deborah Del Prete; Green World, a featurette about filming an entire movie in front of a green screen; Miller on Miller, a featurette where Miller talks about his career; an alternate ending, told in storyboards; History Repeats, a featurette about Will Eisner's career as a comic book artist; the theatrical trailer.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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