When I first watched Spawn, I was relatively young and it made a hell of an impression on me. It was visually stunning, featuring that combination of zany and menacing that I felt was deeply appealing, especially to the younger audiences. Since then, I have seen it a couple times and the special effects did age a bit, however this also presented an opportunity to concentrate on some other elements, because the visuals were so overwhelming that they overloaded your attention span. Based on a comic book, the crew that worked on it was a pretty strange bunch that worked on some of the most profitable blockbusters in the recent years, so they definitely knew what they were doing. Especially when compared to some of the movies from the same decade like The Phantom and Steel. Spawn feels like a twisted work of art, something that wasn’t supposed to happen in this heavily structured and predictable world. I think I have talked enough about special effects and the visual outlook of the movie, but what about the story?

Spawn [1997] Movie Review Recommendation PosterAl Simmons is one bad motherfucker. A member of the special Black Ops team A6 and a very skilled assassin. His latest mission takes him to North Korea where biochemical weapons are being produced in a heavily guarded factory. Al thinks that this is another slam and dunk case, not knowing that his boss Jason Wynn will soon order his murder. Al is shot, burned and left for dead. Soon he finds himself in hell, where Malebolgia, the head honcho, offers him a deal: If Al accepts to lead the army of Hell, he can return to Earth. He takes the deal…

Even the story sounds really cool, doesn’t it? Featuring standard issue elements like government corruption, betrayal and love, there are also those spicy motives like Hell, demons, army of hell and many others. However, Spawn struggles to create a coherent and believable story. This is the movie’s biggest flaw, the lack of that huge motivation and drive towards something bigger. This way we are just waiting to see next super cool shot. There are just so many story-lines, sub-plots and interesting characters that we are skimming through them in order to get to the end. Wesley Snipes, Cuba Gooding Jr. Snoop Dogg, Tony Todd, Allen Payne, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames, Joe Manganiello, LL Cool J, and Will Smith were considered for the role of Al Simmons, but Michael Jai White got it and he fucking nailed it. This movie propelled his career and if you want to continue with his movies, I strongly recommend his 2009 action/comedy masterpiece Black Dynamite. And who would Spawn be without Violator, an evil looking obese clown played masterfully be John Leguizamo. To this day I remember his jarring and intense performance. Finally, I also have to mention the mighty soundtrack featuring artists such as Slayer, Prodigy, Filter, The Crystal Method and others.

 

Director: Mark A.Z. Dippé

Cast: Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen

Fun Facts: John Leguizamo ate live maggots on pizza for this film.

Rating:

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120177/

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