Planning on spending Christmas Day at the theaters with The Spirit? Well, the trades are telling you that might be a bad idea. Reviews for the upcoming Frank Miller rendition of the classic groundbreaking Will Eisner comic strip are doing nothing short of ripping it a new one.
"Movies must obey the immutable laws of cinema and cannot unfold like so many moving panels. For all its bold digital drawings, a comic-book movie must observe the narrative rhythms, scene construction, character development and dialogue delivery that cinema has honed for more than a century."Spirit" does none of this, and it is truly a mess."
-The Hollywood Reporter
"They (The Company) MUST know that this movie is a piece of s**t...I mean, it is so bad they literally HAVE to know how bad it is, no matter how cynical you are about the intelligence level of Hollywood producers. Which means that they think so little of the movie-going public that they’ll drop this bomb on us and just expect us to go see it “‘cause it looks like Sin City."
(The film) plunges into a watery grave early on and spends roughly the next 100 minutes gasping for air. Pushing well past the point of self-parody, Miller has done Will Eisner's pioneering comicstrip no favors by drenching it in the same self-consciously neo-noir monochrome put to much more compelling use in "Sin City."
This film is a complete mess from frame one and not even worth the film it was recorded on which should be burned immediately to save the participants from further embarrassment.
-Latino Review (Upon which, giving the film an "F.")
Now, I'm not here to trash the movie and bask in bad reviews in some kind of orgasmic schadenfreude. For one, I have yet to see the film myself. That being said, I seriously doubt I will disagree with the reviewers. I deeply admire Frank Miller, but perhaps we have crossed the threshold in terms of the dark "neo-noir" style that made Sin City so unique and refreshing. The biggest problem here, is that virtually no one was excited for this film from the get-go. The initial news of the project itself seemed promising, but the first trailers left an inescapable feeling that as David Spade would say: "I liked this film the first time I saw it...when it was called Sin City!" (At which point, a resurrected Chris Farley crashes through a coffee table, while "living in a van down by the river.")
So let us not laugh at what seems to be likely failure here. Let us learn, adapt, and grow from the experience. Vagueness and brooding darkness =/= Good.