Who’s In It: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Jaime King, Eva Mendes, Eric Balfour, Louis Lombardi, Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Paulson
The Basics: The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) is a rookie cop who dies and is reborn as an indestructible crime fighter. Every woman wants him and he allows this because, you know, why not? Rakes make great action heroes. Just look at James Bond. Anyway, The Spirit’s greatest love is not a lady. He’s devoted to The City. Therefore he will protect it against all evildoers. Like The Octopus. That’s Sam Jackson. Sam Jackson wearing blue eyeshadow and glued-on sideburns. And sometimes a Nazi uniform. Alongside Scarlett Johansson, also in a Nazi uniform. (Though sometimes she’s also in a naughty boob-announcing secretary outfit.) Anyway, everybody fights and tries to keep on killing The Spirit and he keeps trying to save The City. Then it’s over and you wonder what you just watched and why.
What’s The Deal: I think I saw the wrong version of this movie. I think I saw the no-cool-action-sequences Director’s Cut or something. Because all I remember from the foggy haze of viewing it is how Gabriel Macht does a LOT of talking—to himself, to the audience, to himself as asides to the audience, to other characters about himself, to himself about other characters, to The City (and she never talks back, hence his love for her), to his red tie, to a wiggly, watery Angel of Death, to his memory of a love affair he had with a teenage version of Eva Mendes, and to his memory of himself. Now all I have to do is see the parts they forgot to show me and I’ll feel better about having seen a complete film.
Effect It Had On My Brain: It’s soothing in a way, like being hypnotized or drugged. And during that hypnotized and/or dosed state it’s as if someone were doing something really bad to you. But you’re so hazy that you don’t really think much about it. And afterwards you don’t care. You’re just glad it’s over.
Best Performance By Default: Disposable sexpot Eva Mendes seems almost emotional and human compared to every single other person on screen. And she’s like the least interesting actress of the past several years. Suddenly, everyone’s living in Crazy Backwards Land.
The Point At Which The Film Lurches Into Maximum Crap Overdrive: For me it was the endurance test scene where one of the three or four Louis Lombardi clones is stabbing himself in the stomach while Sam Jackson and Scar/Jo, wearing Nazi uniforms, are chatting back and forth for what seems like days. I spent this time thinking about The Spirit’s original creator, Will Eisner, and how the annual comics awards are named after him. Then I thought about whether or not a person could actually roll around in his own grave. You probably can’t. But if it is a real thing, it’s happening now.