In many ways, this is a spiritual sequel to Sin City – it shares the pulp/noir tone, and the visuals are very obviously by the same auteur (I am not qualified enough to use the word auteur).
In The Spirit, the world mythology is pushed further along the “larger than life” scale from Pulps to Supers. The Spirit is not quite a super hero, but he’s definitely closer than his counterparts in Sin City.
I really liked a lot of the stylistic features of this movie. The pseudo-noir voice-over was not inspiring, but did convey a lot of tone. The extreme black-on-white shots were often very evocative.
However, it did have a few problems.
The plot is convoluted and somewhat contrived.
The acting is generally either wooden or OTT.
What’s less clear to me is where it fits on the Frank Miller misogyny scale. There are basically only 6 characters of note in the movie. 3 men, 3 women. Two women are basically subservient: de facto slaves of one of the two main antagonists. The other is a story actor, but has little depth (even compared to the pretty shallow main male characters). But she is also a patently empowered character with her own agenda, pursued even when contra to male interests.
There’s nothing remotely like a “normal” relationship portrayed. The relationships are all weirdly asymmetric.
My inclination is therefore to consign this to the general bin of Miller’s other deeply weird products: a mind intriguing, but unhinged and unfocused.
Am I missing something?