Spirit, The

I'm not really sure how this movie even got made. In only his second film, Frank Miller fell into self-referential parody; exaggerating too much here and doing too little there. And by "there" I mean the characters in the film are so two-dimensional that it makes a Dennis Rodman film seem like Shakespeare.

The worst part of all of this is that you know this movie was going to be bad around seven minutes into it. When a fight between the The Spirit and his nemesis, the Octopus-played with the standard intensity of Samuel L. Jackson-goes on far too long, and then the Dad from The Wonder Years shows up to tell the Spirit he's a loose cannon, and were he on the force he would be off the case.

Unfortunately he's not on the force, and the explanation as to why comes far too late in a movie. Turns out the whole plot is like that, dividing between dull gratuitous action sequences, and exposition that actually does not explain anything. The Spirit was made invincible by the Octopus, for no damned reason, and now the Octopus views the The Spirit as a threat since, well, he's the only person on the planet with the same powers. So they actually can't hurt each other, but they can duel back and fourth for far too much of my time. The Octopus is also something of a mad scientist who makes clones, giving the Spirit the opportunity to kill the same man over and over again. He's also after the blood of Hercules, which will make him even more invincible, which like the rest of the film, comes across as completely gratuitous.

Peppered throughout this anti-plot is Miller obsessively displaying hot chicks in satin focus. Usually, I'd be all for these sorts of shenanigans, but when someone is using pretty girls to pull the wool over my eyes, I feel very insulted. The restaurant Hooters does more or less the same thing, hoping that the hot girls will get you to ignore the fact that their food is terrible.

If The Spirit were a Hooters hamburger, it would be made of sand, barbecue sauce, and finger nail clippings; brought to you on a plate by a naked Megan Fox.

The culmination of this movie's absurdity has Jackson randomly appearing in a Nazi uniform for no discernible reason.

Then he melts a kitten.

It turns into a pile of fur and eyeballs.

After that, he apparently has an assassin (Paz Vega ) try to cut the Spirit into tiny pieces, so he can't regenerate. Somehow the hero  convinces her not to for reasons I can't recall, because by that point some adolescent girls in my row were texting and chatting about homecoming, and their conversation was far more interesting than the cinematic travesty on the screen before me.

It takes skill to take a film and make it so terrible that neither Samuel L. Jackson being his usual self, or Scarlett Johansonn just being really hot, can save it. In a way, Frank Miller is some kind of genius. The kind of genius that no one wants to hang out with or talk to.

This movie begs for a Cavalcade. Paired off with either Captain America (the original REALLY BAD one), or the T.V. Nick Fury film, this movie would promise to be a romp. Alternately, you could just make what will certainly be Frank Miller's third film, a drunk man in a Batman cowl ranting about whores.