Spawn (1997)

Directed by Mark A.Z. Dipp
Written by Alan B. McElroy, based on a story by McElroy and Mark A.Z. Dipp, which was based on the comic book by Todd McFarlane
Starring Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Nicol Williamson, Martin Sheen, D.B. Sweeney

My Advice: Wait and Rent It.

The closest thing to a kick-ass comic book adaptation we had in 1997, it didn't reach the heights of my personal favorite adaptation, The Crow, but it wasn't directed by Schumacher, that's for damn sure.  Don't get me wrong, this is a respectable film.  For those unfamiliar with the comic book series, White plays Al Simmons, who gets double-crossed by his boss (Sheen) and blown to hell--literally.  There he is transformed into a hellspawn and enlisted in the war against heaven by Malebolgia (voiced by vocal god Frank Welker) and his top agent The Clown (Leguizamo).  Most of the effects in the film were impressive, the transforming living armor of Spawn and his cape (McFarlane art CGI'ed into reality) among them.  The fact they were able to turn a skinny latin comedian into the short fat stubby Clown is amazing.  Granted, the Hell sequences leave a little to be desired, but I won't hype on that since I have elsewhere already.  Heh.  Anyway, the story isn't too bad and watches well when you understand it's a comic book on the screen.  White does well as the title character, and the others are all adequate in their roles (it's always nice to see Williamson), but Leguizamo carries this film.  His utterly hilariously repulsive Clown is perfect and makes the film worth seeing.

Buy it on DVD from Amazon!
Buy the boxed set of the complete animated series from Amazon!
Buy the boxed set of the complete animated series from Amazon!

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