Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Spirit

I just watched The Spirit. I thought I might like it, given my visual enjoyment of other Frank Miller graphic-novel-to-movie adaptations 300 and Sin City. Like those, this movie felt like a graphic novel -- the colors, the lighting, the dramatic shots were all straight off the page. (I know this to be true for 300, and I assume it for the others.)

But this movie was... off.

The acting was so stiff and... empty. Like the actors were told to try to look like characters in a book, and they took that literally. They only moved during their own lines, and otherwise stood nearly motionless (except action sequences). I know it wasn't their fault -- I've seen them act better in other movies.

The plot was inexplicably bad. We all know about the crime/detective genre, right? A hardboiled, experienced detective, with a long-festering love for a woman in (or causing) trouble, finds that she's intricately tangled in his most recent case... The story writes itself, complete with raspy, deep voice-overs and second-camera-team establishing shots panning across cityscapes. Somehow, this story got it wrong. It didn't make sense, every scene was a plot twist whose surprising revealed fact was immediately forgotten in favor of moving to the next scene. Boo.

The whole thing just didn't satisfy. Maybe if I'd read the graphic novel first, but the movie convinced me I don't want to read the graphic novel. Even if it is the delicious black-and-white visual bouquet that the movie attempted to imitate.

This post's theme word: daltonism, "colorblindness, esp. red/green."
This post written like Dan Brown, sadly.

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