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"THE SPIRIT"
(2008) (Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme *Mild Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Mild Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action: An immortal protector of a city tries to prevent another immortal from attaining even greater power, all while contending with the unexpected return of a past love from his youth.
PLOT:
After dying in the line of duty and then being buried, former Central City cop Denny Colt was resurrected and now roams the metropolis as The Spirit (GABRIEL MACHT) a masked immortal being whose quest is to protect the city from any number of criminals, thus helping police Commissioner Dolan (DAN LAURIA). His immortality, however, doesn't mean he avoids being subjected to any number of bad wounds, which are tended to by Dolan's surgeon daughter, Ellen (SARAH PAULSON) who was romantically attached to Denny before his death.

With new female rookie cop Morgenstern (STANA KATIC) now on the beat, The Spirit intensifies his quest to bring down his arch nemesis, the flamboyantly sinister The Octopus (SAMUEL L. JACKSON). Like Denny, he's immortal thanks to his scientific prowess that's resulted in the creation of various cloned if buffoonish thugs (all played by LOUIS LOMBARDI), and he has the likes of sultry Silken Floss (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) and the exotic Plaster of Paris (PAZ VEGA) working for him.

Yet there's another woman in the picture, and that's Sand Saref (EVA MENDES), Denny's love from his youth who left town long ago, disillusioned following her father's death, and hasn't been seen since. But when the locket Denny gave her appears at a murder scene, his interest is obviously piqued, and he soon learns that her materialistic leanings as a teen have blossomed into a criminal desire to have what's only the best.

As a result, she has something The Octopus wants and vice-versa, all of which means The Spirit must capture and defeat the megalomaniacal villain before he gains ultimate power and becomes unstoppable.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of movies adapted from comic books and/or anyone in the cast, they might be (with older pre-teen and teenage boys seemingly the most likely interested in it).
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GABRIEL MACHT plays a former cop turned resurrected city protector who battles crime and criminals, including The Octopus. While he can be injured, he quickly heals due to his immortality. Although involved with Ellen, he finds himself enticed once again by the return of his long-lost love, Sand Saref.
  • EVA MENDES plays that woman who was his girlfriend in their teenage years, then disappeared and returned much later as an ultra-materialistic thief with a taste for the prettiest and most expensive things around.
  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON plays The Spirit's arch nemesis, a mad scientist who's immortal like the hero, but wants to become a god so that he can be all-powerful. Prone to campy melodrama, he tries to kill The Spirit, creates all sorts of genetic mutants, and uses some profanity.
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON plays a femme fatale of sorts who works with The Octopus and briefly smokes.
  • SARAH PAULSON plays as a surgeon who's romantically involved with the Spirit and tends to his various wounds, but becomes jealous of the much younger Morgenstern when she joins forces with The Spirit.
  • DAN LAURIA plays Central City's police commissioner who knows of The Spirit's true identity, but still gets irritated by his actions as well as his involvement with Ellen, his daughter. He uses some profanity.
  • STANA KATIC plays a gung-ho rookie cop who assists the commissioner as well as The Spirit.
  • PAZ VEGA plays a dominatrix of sorts who The Octopus brings in to dispense with The Spirit.
  • LOUIS LOMBARDI plays any number of dimwitted clones who work for The Octopus and seem oblivious to most pain or their eventual fate.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Profanity consists of a fair number of otherwise minor expletives, while various religious and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue and innuendo are present, as is some making out and nudity (a woman's bare butt and side of her bare breast), while scantly clad men and women (the latter also in formfitting outfits) are also seen.

    Violence includes murders and a suicide, as well as fighting, gunfire and more that would otherwise kill most people, except for the two immortal combatants involved in most of that. Other fighting and striking of others also occurs. Some of that has bloody/gory results, and those scenes and moments of potential peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers (but most of it's played in an exaggerated and/or highly stylized fashion that diminishes the severity of said material),

    Some of the behavior might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate, while some tense family material is present. There's some drinking and a few drug references, while some smoking also occurs.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that while The Spirit rides atop a train through a tunnel.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a spin around camera shot at the end of the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In a flashback, young Sand asks, "He's not drinking again, is he?" (presumably referring to Denny's uncle, with Denny saying no).
  • About the way The Spirit is reacting to news of Sand, Commissioner Dolan asks, "Are you on drugs or something?" Later, Commissioner Dolan sarcastically states (about something else), "Even if you're on drugs," with The Spirit angrily responding he isn't.
  • We see a bottle of liquor and some in glasses in front of poker players, including Sand.
  • Sand has some champagne.
  • A miscellaneous person comments on buying another such person a drink.
  • The Octopus admits to his past life as a coroner who watered down pharmaceuticals and thus had a lucrative drug trade.
  • We see a homeless guy on a bench holding a bottle of some sort.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A cop has some bloody bullet holes in his shirt after being shot.
  • Sand tells an accomplice (who's just been shot), "Shut up and bleed."
  • Ellen cares for The Spirit after his battle with The Octopus, and The Spirit is covered in blood and/or mud. She notes that his head is bleeding and he touches that with his gloved hand, commenting on it being sticky (we see some on his glove).
  • Dolan tells The Spirit the latter is going through their men (the cops) "like toilet paper."
  • We hear that The Octopus wants the Blood of Heracles, and later see him try to drink that from a large vase, but we never see the substance and don't know if it's really supposed to be actual blood (or just a metaphor).
  • We see the silhouetted image of a suicide victim who's missing the back half of his head.
  • There might be some blood mixed in with the contents of a beaker as a mini mutant creature boils and/or dissolves in that.
  • We see Sand's assistant dead on the floor and partially under a table, with some blood in or around his mouth.
  • We briefly see a charred and still steaming body of a cloned thug after he's been electrocuted on two electric lines.
  • We see a flashback to Denny the cop being shot, with his blood appearing white, while his body is later seen on a morgue slab with two bullet holes at the top of his chest/shoulders (seen from a low angle and with his head being closest to the camera).
  • We see scuffed up and bloody skin on The Spirit's knuckles and hands while trying to claw and bang his way out of a buried casket.
  • The Octopus allows a kitten to lap up some of his experimental formula, resulting in the kitty dissolving away (mostly heard, until we see just its eyeballs left in a sink). This is played for comedy, but some viewers might not like that humor.
  • Plaster of Paris kisses The Spirit before running a sword through him (we see red on the end of the blade representing blood).
  • During a gun battle, Morgenstern uses a huge gun to blow off part of The Octopus' arm and Commissioner Dolan then shoots him several times in the head (leaving bloody holes there, but The Octopus simply pops out the bullets). The Spirit then arms a grenade and jams it into The Octopus, with Sand shielding The Spirit and herself as The Octopus explodes, resulting in some of his rib cage planting itself into a nearby wall. We later see part of The Octopus' finger inching itself along until Silken picks it up and leaves.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Octopus and his cronies obviously have bad attitudes, with the leader being of the megalomaniacal, mad scientist bent who wants to be a god (and who creates various genetic mutations through his mad scientist work).
  • We hear that Sand is behind various high profile jewelry heists.
  • The various petty criminals seen in various scenes have bad attitudes for their behavior.
  • Young Denny refers to a miscellaneous criminal as a "Guido."
  • Following her father's death, young Sand becomes disillusioned and mean, stating that she hates cops, the city, and that she's too good for it and Denny.
  • After his cape gets stuck on the side of a building, The Spirit is stuck hanging there, with bystanders below yelling for him to jump.
  • The Spirit comes to and finds himself tied to a chair with dental tools nearby and then The Octopus and Silken dressed like Nazi SS officers, and there's a large picture of Hitler in the room. While played for laughs, some viewers might not like the joke.
  • The Octopus admits to his past life as a coroner who watered down pharmaceuticals and thus had a lucrative drug trade.
  • The Octopus allows a kitten to lap up some of his experimental formula, resulting in the kitty dissolving away (mostly heard, until we see just its eyeballs left in a sink). This is played for comedy, but some viewers might not like that humor.
  • About The Spirit and Plaster of Paris speaking in French, The Octopus states, "Enough of this frog talk."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • The angel of death, or something along those lines in the form of a character named Lorelei, is seen several times, looking ethereal, with floating hair, etc. and commenting that she is death and ready for The Spirit.
  • Sand shoves The Spirit backwards three times, not realizing he's going to end up crashing through the window and fall a long way down the side of the high-rise. His cape stops his fall, however, when it snags on part of the building (those afraid of heights might not like that scene).
  • We see scuffed up and bloody skin on The Spirit's knuckles and hands while trying to claw and bang his way out of a buried casket (folks suffering from claustrophobia - and especially the notion of being buried alive - might not like that scene).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotguns/Machine guns/Grenade/Swords/Spears/Knives/: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see part of a 21-gun salute at a funeral.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Damn, I've got no time for this," "Broad," "Shut up and bleed," "There is nothing I like better than kicking your ass all night long," "Pretty boy," "I'm gonna be the death of you," "I'm gonna kill you all kinds of dead," "That tears it, you're delusional," "We're all damn impressed," "Flat on our asses," "G*ddman dog and pony show," "You're damn right/straight," "You're going through our men like toilet paper," "You're off your rocker," "No egg on my face!" "Everything went right straight to hell," "Guido," "I'm too good for you and this dump," "You fart," "You door-stops," "You screwed me" (nonsexual), "A perfect ass of yourself," "Rodent," "You look like hell," "Bastard," "Skirt," "All the tail you've been chasing," "Old fart," "No chance in hell," "Psycho-babble," "That's just plain damn weird," "Get the hell out of here," "Twits," "He's a G*ddamn menace," "Dames," "What smells dental?" "Dental and Nazis, great," "Hell yeah," "I'm getting old just listening to you," "Dead as Star Trek," "Ugly ass," "They piss me off," "Pain in the ass," "What the hell are we?" "Zeus couldn't keep it in his pants," "Back to killing your ass," "Enough of this frog talk" (said about French), "You son of a bitch," "Sure as hell," "Who the hell are you?" "You polyp," "Hell-hole," "Lug-nuts," "I've got eight of everything," "Shot to hell," "You don't know a damn thing" and "Who the hell was that?"
  • All of the fighting, action and other stunts present throughout the movie might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • In a flashback, young Sand wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • In a flashback, young Denny holds young Sand leaning off the back of a train (done for fun).
  • Jealous of Morgenstern, Ellen throws a scalpel into a door or wall when Morgenstern leaves with The Spirit.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 15 hells, 14 damns, 8 asses, 3 S.O.B.s, 11 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "God" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see The Spirit in just his boxers.
  • The Spirit states, via voice-over narration, that his city isn't all dressed up like jailbait (meaning it's old and gritty and that's the way he likes it).
  • We see Sand come up out of the water in slow motion wearing a wet and formfitting outfit that shows off her curves as well as a lot of cleavage.
  • We see some brief kissing between young Sand and young Denny.
  • When "Robin" is mentioned, Sand refers to the character from "Batman" and comments on his derriere in those tights, and points out her own (clothed) butt while saying that. She also sits on a copy machine that spits out a photocopy of her clothed butt.
  • We see The Spirit shirtless.
  • The Spirit and Ellen do some sultry talk and then passionate kissing in her office. That includes her talking of his fast hands, and telling him to keep his mask on as "something tells me it might be better that way). Her father and Morgenstern enter the office, however, and interrupt them before anything else happens (they're clothed the entire time).
  • Commissioner Dolan comments to The Spirit about "all of the tail" the latter has been chasing.
  • The Spirit looks at that above photocopy of Sand's clothed butt.
  • Silken shows a lot of cleavage.
  • Carrying a pair of handcuffs, The Spirit walks in on Sand who's wrapped in just a towel. She suggestively asks if he's going to arrest her or if he had something else in mind (referring to the cuffs), but he tells her to put her hands up, so she does, causing the towel to drop (we don't see anything right then, but he does and averts his eyes). We then see another angle of that scene that shows her full rear nudity, and then a side view as she walks over to another part of the room (more bare butt, a possible fleeting glimpse of the side of her bare breast). We then see her dressed in a cleavage-revealing top.
  • After his cape gets stuck on the side of a building, The Spirit is stuck hanging there. When he swings over to a ledge, his pants appear to fall down, revealing him in his underwear (while a women seen in a window or elevator there wears a very tight skirt).
  • Silken kisses The Spirit as a distraction so that she can inject a knockout agent into his neck.
  • After Ellen states that she's the only one who knows The Spirit's body (in terms of fixing it after he's injured), her dad says that there are probably plenty of "dames" who know his body (in a sexual way) and then comments on him stretching them across gurneys and making them melt like butter.
  • Plaster of Paris is dressed like a standard belly dancer, showing her bare belly and plenty of cleavage (as well as lots of leg later). She and The Spirit briefly kiss (until she runs a sword through him).
  • The Octopus states, "We mate so that our seed lives on."
  • About gods, mortals and their mix, The Octopus states that Zeus "couldn't keep it in his pants" and thus fathered offspring.
  • We see The Spirit shirtless.
  • A thug working with Sand reminds her that he's doing so for their upcoming wedding night.
  • Sand wears a very revealing outfit that shows a lot of cleavage and other skin.
  • Sand and The Spirit passionately kiss while standing and clothed.
  • SMOKING
  • Silken smokes a few times, while we see Dolan with an unlit pipe in a flashback scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's a flashback to Sand's father struggling with a man over a gun, with that going off and killing Sand's father, resulting in Denny's uncle shooting himself in the head (no blood). Both young Sand and young Denny react to coming across that scene after the fact, and Sand is never the same after that.
  • We infer that Commissioner Dolan's wife left him sometime in the past (with Ellen stating that he, like her and The Spirit, are married to their work).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Morgenstern states that Sand suffers from the Electra Complex.
  • Film noir.
  • Sand being materialistic and that driving her criminal behavior.
  • Human-made science creating mutations.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Some robbers accost a woman, with one having a knife and another a gun, but The Spirit then lands down on one of them and punches, kicks and throws the rest about (all seen as shadow action). When he's done, he pulls out a knife from his torso (no blood) but while wounded, he's immortal so it really doesn't matter.
  • We initially think that Sand has shot and mortally wounded a man, but a flashback then shows that it was really The Octopus who shot the man. He then fires many shots at Sand as she dives under the water, where one of those bullets hits a scuba diver helping her as she tries to remove two large trunks (one of the bullets rips through the line holding the two, thus sending one back down to the depths).
  • The Octopus throws a rock or something similar that hits The Spirit on the head, seemingly knocking him out. He then kicks The Spirit in the face and throws him into some muck where he repeatedly kicks him. He then hits him several times with a concrete block or something similar, The Spirit then hits him repeatedly with a tire iron or the equivalent, and The Octopus then hits The Spirit in the crotch with a huge piece of wood that he uses to lift him off the ground. That's followed by The Spirit repeatedly pummeling The Spirit down in that muck, while The Octopus slams a toilet over The Spirit's head before repeatedly kicking and then shooting him.
  • While driving a delivery truck, Silken drives over one of The Octopus' thug clones. She then backs over two more, and we later see one with large tire treads imprinted in his face.
  • The Octopus shoots one of his cloned thugs dead (we don't see the impact).
  • There's a flashback to Sand's father struggling with a man over a gun, with that going off and killing Sand's father, resulting in Denny's uncle shooting himself in the head (no blood). Both young Sand and young Denny react to coming across that scene after the fact, and Sand is never the same after that.
  • We see cartoon like footage of The Octopus attacking and killing some of his cloned thugs, including zipping a throwing star into one's head, firing an arrow through another, and using a sword to slice another in half (no graphic details, and the star and arrow guys are still alive, unfazed by what's been done to them). Another is handed a sword to use in a hari-kari fashion. We hear, but don't see the impact, and that clone also seems unfazed, asking if he's doing it right (although he does state it stings).
  • Sand's thug shows his gun to make a man comply with their wishes. That gun is then left on his desk pointing at him, and after Sand and the thug leave, we hear a suicidal gunshot. Later, we see the silhouetted image of that suicide victim who's missing the back half of his head.
  • In passing, The Spirit strikes a criminal.
  • Commissioner Dolan grabs The Spirit by his coat.
  • Morgenstern knocks two cops aside while chasing after The Spirit.
  • We see that The Octopus has created an odd miniature creature, with a human head atop a lone human foot. It hops around for a while until it accidentally lands in a beaker that The Octopus turns on or up, thus causing that creature to boil and/or dissolve.
  • We see Sand's assistant dead on the floor and partially under a table, with some blood in or around his mouth.
  • Sand shoves The Spirit backwards three times, not realizing he's going to end up crashing through the window and fall a long way down the side of the high-rise. His cape stops his fall, however, when it snags on part of the building.
  • The Spirit throws a snowball to get a cloned thug's attention before jumping down on him and disarming him. That thug then goes over the railing and lands on two electric lines, frying him. We then see the shadow of The Spirit beating up another clone, while a third shoots his machine gun at The Spirit who uses a manhole cover to block the bullets and then hit that cloned thug. It's implied that he beats up a fourth one.
  • Silken kisses The Spirit as a distraction so that she can inject a knockout agent into his neck.
  • A large prong of some sort is thrown into The Spirit's clothed shoulder while he's tied to a chair. The Octopus then wants Plaster of Paris to slice him up into small bits, beginning with his toes, but instead she cuts him loose and The Spirit punches and kicks him. He then bashes a large statue down onto The Octopus. Upon leaving, Plaster of Paris apparently attacks two cloned thugs with her swords (we don't see the impact, but do see their bodies roll down some steps).
  • We see a flashback to Denny the cop being shot, with his blood appearing white.
  • The Octopus allows a kitten to lap up some of his experimental formula, resulting in the kitty dissolving away (mostly heard, until we see just its eyeballs left in a sink). This is played for comedy, but some viewers might not like that humor.
  • Plaster of Paris kisses The Spirit before running a sword through him (we see red on the end of the blade representing blood). He then stumbles and falls into a body of water where he encounters an angel of death of sorts. There's an imagined bit of her kissing him, thus causing him to start to drown in real life, but he then breaks free from that and surfaces.
  • Sand and her thug get into a gun standoff with Silken and one of the cloned thugs. After a transfer of goods, the cloned thug shoots the other thug, prompting Sand to shoot him and fire shots around Silken's feet, causing her to drop her gun.
  • The Octopus repeatedly shoots The Spirit, first with handguns and then progressively bigger shotguns, but The Spirit keeps approaching (due to being immortal as well as wearing some sort of bulletproof vest). Police (on foot and in attack helicopters) then open fire on The Octopus who shoots back with two large machine guns. That ends when Morgenstern uses a huge gun to blow off part of The Octopus' arm and Commissioner Dolan then shoots him several times in the head (leaving bloody holes there, but The Octopus simply pops out the bullets). Sand shoots a vase just as The Octopus is going to drink from it, and The Spirit then arms a grenade and jams it into The Octopus, with Sand shielding The Spirit and herself as The Octopus explodes, resulting in some of his rib cage planting itself into a nearby wall.



  • Reviewed December 17, 2008 / Posted December 25, 2008

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