I just got back from seeing 'The Spirit'.
There was a matinee show at my local cinema, and I sat in an audience of about fifty people of ages ranging from 12 to about 70.
It was interesting to note that the first people to walk out were three teenagers, followed shortly afterwards (and independently) by two senior citizens. Five more people left before the end, but one returned, so given an audience of fifty that meant that eighteen per cent of the audience hated it enough to go out early into the cold.
I remained, if only out of morbid curiousity, and was never so happy to see a movie's end credits in my life. By the end of the film, I was actually able to predict the dialogue before it was spoken (and I'm good, but not that good).
But surely there were some high points? I hear you ask, your pre-booked tickets awaiting collection.
Well, yes there were, but sadly not enough. Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes were excellent as Silken Floss and Sand Saref, Ms. Mendes every bit the femme fatale of Will Eisner's vision, and who stole every scene in which she appeared.
Dan Lauria was his usual solid self as Commissioner Dolan; Louis Lombardi as the cloned henchmen added some good comic touches.
Samuel L. Jackson was, well, Samuel L. Jackson, only in funny clothes. Stana Katic, Paz Vega and Jaime King, though pleasing to the eye, were superfluous characters who didn't advance the plot in any meaningful way.
And then there's Gabriel Macht. Hero-shaped, he fit the role of The Spirit as well as could be expected.
If anything, the cast were let down by the material. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Frank Miller as a graphic novelist and artist, a medium to which I hope he'll return, but this story did credit to nobody. Where it should have been a darkly-comic noir, it opted instead for an almost camp tone, with occasional bouts of introspective flashback.
And I never knew The Spirit kept cats (a metaphor, perhaps?)...
All in all, it's not a movie I'll be seeing again, nor adding to my DVD collection.
I leave the rest to your judgement.