STARRING: Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen, DB
Sweeney, Theresa Randle
1997, 97 Minutes, Directed by: Mark Dippé
Spawn is a special effects-ridden adaptation
of the best-selling superhero comic book of the same name designed for today’s
acute attention deficit video game generation.
The story is about . . . but
heck, who cares? The movie itself doesn’t care - instead it bombards the viewer
with special effects, a loud techno soundtrack and lightning fast editing so
that it is difficult in the end to follow the action, never mind care about what
exactly is happening.
The finale, set in a CGI
rendered hell, looks like it’s taken directly from some PC game. Call me old
fashioned but at times I miss the old models and puppet creatures of yesteryear
- some of today’s CGI effects look even more fake.
The actors dont cope much better. Not even Nicol Williamson who
played a very similar role years ago as Merlin in Excalibur
comes out of it with any dignity intact. Martin (Apocalypse Now)
Sheen is wasted as a bad guy. Worst of all is John Leguizamo as the chief
bad guy, the Clown, whose machine gun delivery grates on ones nerves.
Making things worse is that his dialogue seems to consist of unfunny flatulence
jokes. And dont even get me started on the rest of the cast of bland
unknowns . . .
In the end Spawn is a wasted opportunity and unless you happen
to be a thirteen-year-old boy then youre advised to steer clear
of this movie. And even if you do belong to said demographic group, read
the comics instead - theyre much better. File this movie under dismal
comic book adaptations along with Batman & Robin, but that's what you get if get a special
effects expert (first-time director Dippé used to work for ILM - George
Lucas' SFX outfit) to direct it . . .