Action / Horror


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October 07, 2016 at 04:12 AM


John Leguizamo as Clown / Violator
Martin Sheen as Jason Wynn
Michael Jai White as Al Simmons / Spawn
Miko Hughes as Zack
720p 1080p
734.48 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 32 / 186
1.51 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 48 / 238

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by CalvinValjean 1 / 10

Terrible Film, From a Comic That Is Perhaps Unadaptable

I'm not sure if the Spawn comics really can be adapted to a film medium. To sum it up: you have a murdered CIA hit-man who makes a deal with a devil, comes back as deformed creature with strange powers, and has to deal with a psychotic demon in clown form. Umm, yeah. Maybe Sam Raimi or Guillermo Del Toro could'be made such a film, but alas, they didn't, and the result is an inept production.

I'll start with the good points; John Leguizamo is perfect as the Clown; both over the top and malevolent. And a few of the visual effects are impressive. And there were a few nods to the comics (Sam and Twitch making a cameo at the end). But that's about it. Here's every other problem:

1. Michael Jai White just sucks as the lead. He's terrible. His interpretation of Spawn is not particularly heroic, or anti-heroic, or likable, or has any character moments, but is just an angry guy yelling: "I'mma gonna kill Wynn! Arrgg!! These powers rock!" Gone are any of the philosophical underpinnings of the character.

2. Hell and the devil Malebolia - laughable, laughable. They could've at least animated the devil's mouth to move in sync with his voice. If this is hell, I just laugh at it. And for those who say "Hey, it was 1997; those were the visual effects of the time," I say look at Independence Day, Space Jam, and Titanic, all films made around the same time with superior effects.

3. Martin Sheen, whom we all know is a good actor, adds little to the Wynn character. He concocts an idiotic plot about inserting a bomb in his heart, so that no one will dare kill him. This plot line isn't in the comics, but even if it was it would still've been idiotic. Doctors are really going to insert a bomb in someone's heart and not think: "Gee, this guy's gonna die someday, so there's no question this bomb will go off and kill people someday?"

4. Child actor Miko Hughes shows up in a subplot, and has to look for Spawn's dog. WTF? It's like the producers realized "We should make this more family friendly by giving Spawn a kid sidekick," but then realized there really wasn't anything he could do, so they had him go look for a dog instead.

5. And after all this, we have a mess of a climax. Spawn fights off the Clown in Hell by transporting through the fireplace! And then we get the big cliché about ending with a shot of Spawn looking out on the city he will now protect. Please. An unsatisfying ending, due to zero character development or reason to care about any of the "saving" that Spawn did throughout the movie.

But there is some good in the world: after all, I walked out of this knowing that if any demonic Clown comes after me, I sure can count on Spawn to decapitate him for me. And if my dog ever runs away, I can count on Miko Hughes to find him for me. And if I ever get confused during a movie, I can count on Nicol Williamson's tacked-on voice-over to provide exposition.

And finally, if I ever go to hell, I know I can look forward to a place filled with cartoon characters. YEE HEE!

Reviewed by Brandt Sponseller 8 / 10

A flawed but enjoyable absurdist horror-comic book film

Al Simmons (Michael Jai White) is one of the top operatives for Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen), who is the head of an organization called A6. When Simmons becomes aware that A6 might be a little shady, he learns the hard way that he isn't allowed to quit A6. This leads to his transformation into Spawn, a superhero with a background and motivations that are just as morally ambiguous as A6. The film largely concerns Spawn discovering and exploring his new identity, while working to uncover a nefarious plot and attain revenge.

If you read my reviews frequently enough over time, you'll notice that my ratings often change on repeated viewings. My rating for Spawn has definitely gone down since my last viewing, but currently, I'm giving it a generous 8 out of 10. There are a lot of things that are brilliant about the film, at least for viewers with particular, odd tastes similar to mine, but there are also too many unfortunate missteps to allow for a higher score.

Let's look at the missteps first. The main problem with the film is that screenwriter Alan McElroy and writer/director Mark A.Z. Dippe tried to squeeze far too much plot and too many characters into a 90-minute film. In retrospect, it would have been better to make one film covering everything up to Spawn's transformation (or the beginning of the transformation), and then save the other material (which comprises the bulk of the story here) for later films. Maybe Todd McFarlane, who created the comic books upon which this film was based, was worried that he wouldn't receive funding for sequels, so a multi-film plan wasn't attractive. As it is, there have been no live action sequels to date (there have been animated versions of Spawn), but I think there may have been if the first film would have been handled differently.

As the film stands, too much time has to be spent explaining the plot. The A6 plot is complicated enough, but there is a very high-concept idea behind the creation of Spawn that also has to be explained, too. Also, a lot of characters, most critically Cogliostro (Nicol Williamson--one of my favorite character actors), are basically wasted. There just isn't time to get into them.

A further problem is that both Sheen and White use odd affectations in their speech. I suppose it's supposed to be over-the-top in a comic book way, but on this last viewing, at least, it was more distracting to me. Also, a lot of the cgi-heavy effects already look very dated, and there's a weird cheesiness to most of the scenes in Hell. On the other hand, I personally like that kind of weird cheesiness, so I didn't subtract any points for that.

And speaking of weird cheesiness, I'm sure a lot of people hate John Leguizamo's character in the film (Clown/Violator), but I love it. It's exactly the kind of surreal campiness--part horror, part humor--that I cherish. As Mike Mayo has said, he's like (an evil) Krusty the Klown on acid. That works well for me, but if you're not the kind of person who loves films like Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988), you probably won't like this Killer Klown either.

There is also a great campy quality to the material overall, including some of the dialogue (a scene where a father yells at a son in "Rat City" for spitting out a meal they retrieved from the garbage because it's "wasting good food" is a treasure). Spawn, the comic, is really a bizarre amalgamation of a number of different influences, from horror to twisted fairy tales, and the film is not afraid to indulge in that.

The best part of the film, though, aside from Leguizamo's character, is Spawn as superhero. The costume and devices of the costume are fantastic, the cgi for the costume is excellent (I especially loved the cape), and White (as well as the stunt person(s)) does a great job physically. All of the action sequences involving Spawn were incredible. I wanted to see a lot more of that kind of material. In fact, the visual style of the film overall is admirably creative, all the way down to the opening and ending credits.

In the end, the film teeters between being something that's "so bad, it's good" and being just a good film with some unfortunate flaws, but in either case, it's still very enjoyable to watch. You just need to approach it not expecting a realist dramatic masterpiece, but rather with a love for the absurd.

Reviewed by rsaunders2-1 2 / 10

The muppet show gone wrong

The first time I saw this...well, I wanted to like it. I had rented it probably as soon as it came out on VHS. I hadn't read a Spawn comic but knew one thing, he was a badass and a lot of people liked the comics. I had high hopes. Boy, was I disappointed. Now as the time has passed and I've gotten older, I've tried to like it for different reasons. For the campy aspect of it, for Leguizamo's part, for anything...I still don't.

The effects are what they are, and you can't do much with a budget too low for your aspirations when it comes to a work like this. As it is, the suit and cape look pretty good, but it seems like those are the only things that any money were spent on. However, that is the least of my concerns for Spawn.

The acting a word...atrocious. No one other than Leguizamo has any fun in this thing. He's like the guy at a crappy party that says, "Hey, screw it. I'm gonna have a good time whether the rest of you guys are or not!" Did I like his performance? Not really, but you have to give him credit for trying. That's more than I can say for the rest of the cast, crew, pretty much anyone else associated with this. Jai White is awful. The script doesn't help him at all but he was just the wrong choice. That said, there probably weren't too many African-Americans at the time that folks thought could pull it off, so he was chosen. Wrong choice, but I guess you do what you have to. Sheen was so bad I had to watch Apocalypse Now again just to get the vision of Spawn out of my head. Sweeney and Randle....who? They were in this thing? See what I mean?

The movie should NOT have been PG-13 either. We know well enough these days that even when a movie is put out in a director's cut on DVD with an R rating that it doesn't help much. Spawn should have been a "hard R" all the way from the get-go. It also could have helped itself being a bit longer, say 2 hrs total. But maybe it's the best thing that Spawn only tortured us for 90 mins. Any more of Spawn the way it is and you wind up thinking too much about Death's sweet release.

Like I said, I really wanted to like it. I watch it when it comes on FX or whatever other TV channel just to see if I can find a reason to like it, so maybe I won't feel the disappointment I felt the first time. It never works...and it never will.

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