Movie Review: Spawn (1997)
“The Evil has a new enemy. The Justice has a new Weapon. And the world has a new hero.”
Director: Mark A.Z. Dippé
Cast: John Leguizamo, Michael Jai White, Martin Sheen
Synopsis: An elite mercenary returns from hell as a reluctant soldier of the Devil.
This adaptation of a comic book hero is a confusion of noise and plot that, while not making an awful lot of sense, still manages to be reasonably diverting thanks chiefly to two things: the production design which provides consistently engaging visuals, and the performance of John Leguizamo (John Wick, The Infiltrator), who’s unrecognisable as a malevolent demon in the guise of a kiddies clown. In fact, Leguizamo is so unrecognisable that I spent a good twenty minutes or so waiting for him to make an appearance before I realised who he was playing. What a character this clown is: short and fat, breaking green wind, eating maggot-topped pizza slices, and delivering a relentless barrage of mostly unfunny wisecracks with malicious glee, he dominates every scene he’s in, and the film would be a lot poorer without him. Michael Jai White (2 Days in the Valley, The Dark Knight) makes a fairly bland hero by comparison, even though his make-up is impressive. It’s a shame they couldn’t manage to build an equally impressive story around Leguizamo’s character; if they had they’d have created something really worth watching.
(Reviewed 20th December 2011)