Frank Miller: The Ultimate Ghostbuster

Saw The Spirit last night kids. They say The Spirit can’t be killed, but Frank Miller has done an admirable job of destroying the character and everything anyone has ever loved about him. There needs to be a better word for terrible.

I hope you all appreciate what I went through for you. I’ve taken one for the team here. And believe me it wasn’t easy. I’m not super picky, I’ll sit through just about anything, so it’s a testament to the shittyness of this film that I actually wanted to walk out on no less than 4 occasions, the first within the initial 10 minutes of the flick. This movie plays like the masturbatory fan-fic of a talentless 14 year old OCD geek. Fans of Will Eisner’s creation will want to stay far far away from this one, lest they be driven into a murderous frenzy.

What happened to Frank Miller? He used to be cool. Back in the 80’s he did an amazing run on Daredevil and he revitalized Batman with his groundbreaking Graphic Novel The Dark Knight Returns. In the late 80’s and early 90’s he created Sin City and 300, The former had a strong initial run which eventually spiralled downwards into total shitsville by the end of its run, The latter is a grossly over rated work with ugly art and a highly questionable and uninspiring story. Frank Miller hasn’t done anything of real note since.

It makes me wonder how well deserved all the adulation was. When you come right down to it, there are really only 3 pieces of work that Miller is trading on, and all of them were written in the 80s. All of Miller’s recent success and notoriety has come from those works. He strikes me as someone who has bought into all the hype and praise that has surrounded him and is now so hopelessly out of touch that he is incapable of producing anything worthwhile. He also strikes me as creepy and pervy, but maybe that’s just me. Enough about Miller (for now) let’s talk about this movie.

The movie opens with some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever had the misfortune of listening to. Seriously, it’s physically painful. The Spirit says “She is my city and I am her Spirit” on no less than 4 occasions over the course of this film. Repetition is only one of Miller’s myriad of missteps in this film. Right away you’re going to notice that this film is trying really hard to look like Sin City. It’s not doing a very good job of it, but it’s trying. I think it was a huge disservice to Miller to have given him a co-director’s credit on Sin City, because the poor bastard actually believes that he did. Watching The Spirit makes it plain to anyone who didn’t know it before that Rodriguez carried Sin City and that without him it would have been an unmitigated disaster. Miller does not have the flair for cinematography and composition nor the ability to direct actors that Rodriguez has, and it really shows.

The movie appears to be set in 2000-1934. The characters use 30’s slang, they drive cars out of the 40s, they have cell phones and high tech weaponry with computer targeting systems and at one point Samuel L Jackson declares the Spirit “Deader than Star Trek”. The film is a jumbled mess of style trying to be 10 different things at once.

In short, the plot is ridiculous, the visual style is rubbish, the actors seem embarrassed, and the writing is tragic. It makes one wonder if Frank Miller really was best friends with Will Eisner, or if he just thinks he was and Will was only tolerating his presence because he was already in too deep. Miller’s total lack of understand or respect for the source material here is obscene. I just don’t know what else to say about it. I sincerely hope this film is the final nail in the rotting coffin of Frank Miller’s career. His day is done, someone needs to take him about behind the shed and put him out of our misery.

Click here for another, far more eloquent appraisal of The Spirit.


~ by Pagz on December 28, 2008.

2 Responses to “Frank Miller: The Ultimate Ghostbuster”

  1. Elektra bad?

  2. Elektra bad.

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