With the fanboys anxiously eying Zack Snyders Watchmen adaptation, Frank Millers version of The Spirit sneaks into theaters almost unnoticed on Christmas Daygood thing, too. Miller, comics-writing icon turned director, has rendered comics-industry revolutionary Will Eisners crime fighter Denny Colt a grim shade of dullall talk, no action, save for a few slapstick mash-ups of old Warner Bros. cartoons and Millers own Sin City, which has the effect of turning Eisners Technicolor comic into a gray glob of hardboiled mush. Colt (Gabriel Macht, ehh), dead and deadpan, is a killed cop resurrected courtesy of the Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson turned up to 11), a baddie who now wants the good guy dead, I tell ya, dead. Complicating matters are the femme fatales stopping by between Maxim shoots: Eva Mendes as the lost love, Jaime King as the angel of death and Scarlett Johansson as the Octopuss extra tentacle. Miller gets away with his revisionist redo because, at this late date, The Spirits been spirited away to the history books. Besides, the movies so full of nods to comics and their creators (from DC Comics founder Harry Donenfeld to artist Steve Ditko) that the fanboys will find room in their heart to forgive the desecration. Everyone else wont care at all.
Frank MillerScarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Gabriel MachtFrank Miller, Will EisnerDeborah Del Prete, Gigi Pritzker, Michael E. UslanLionsgate Films