Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spawn (1997)

I have read the comics and seen this movie for dozen times but this was first time I realized how stupid the concept of Spawn is from Hell's point of view. They send their general to Earth and hope he doesn't get killed or change sides. I don't get what they gain with this.

Spawn is based on Todd McFarlane's comic with same name. Spawn comic started 1992 along with Image comics. Image comics were founded by big name comic artists who didn't want to give copyrights of their characters away. In Finland we got Spawn, Witchblade and Darkness. These comics were much darker and adult oriented than comics from Marvel where comic artists left to found Image comics. Spawn is one of most popular Image characters.

Movie is quite faithful to source material. Al Simmons was government hitman until he was betrayed and killed. He makes deal with devil to get back to his wife Wanda. He gets back to Earth five years later as hellspawn. Wanda has moved on with her life and doesn't recognize burned Al anymore. Spawn gets new friends. Violator is demon who's job is to make sure Spawn keeps his promise and lead Hell's army. Cogliostro is older hellspawn who changed sides and tries to mentor Spawn.

Biggest problems, aside  premise not making sense, are bad cgi effects and Violator telling three times what his plan is. Like we needed it at all. Bad cgi is underlined by how good Violator's demonic form look as practical effects. Devil Malebolgia is just plain awful. They didn't even try lip sycning. He just have his mouth open all the time. Not all cgi is bad, bad cgi just jumps on your face since practical effects look so good.

Comics had more of fighting between heaven and hell. In comics heaven wasn't any better. In movie Violator tell they had to get Al Simmons otherwise heaven would have got him. I guess war between heaven and hell was planned for potential sequel. Priest felt like she could have returned as angel in sequel. Movie never got sequel.

Spawn was made during time when comic book movies weren't that big thing and didn't get huge budgets. It looks like dark fantasy action movies from the time. Premise and plot don't make much sense but it looks cool and sometimes it looks quite good. If you liked the comics or like movies involving hell or dark fantasy you should check this movie. For others this may not be worth of your time.

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