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Starring: Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen, Theresa Randle, D.B. Sweeney
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: New Line Cinema
Kiddie Movie: Some quality violence so it's your call.
Date Movie: Only if she likes dark setting movies.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: No real blood, but lots of pretend stuff.
Action: Some good scenes.
Laughs: Clown has lots of dark one-liners.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really comes to mind.
Memorable Quote: Clown in standing in front of Wanda and says something like: "It's times like these I appreciate being a midget." and another clown line "How come God hogs up all the good fellas and we get all the retards."
Directed By: Mark A.Z. Dippe
Produced By: Clint Goldman

A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:33 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I still don't know what to make of "Spawn." It was cool, but still kind of stupid (at least in my religious mind), but I guess in taking the movie for what it is, an adaptation of a comic book I haven't read, it wasn't bad, just maybe over the top.

The story of "Spawn" goes something like this: Michael Jai White plays Al Simmons, your super secret government agency killing machine. He's great at his job, but other forces are screwing with him. He wants out of the agency, but his boss, Jason Wynn played by Martin Sheen, convinces him to stage one more job. Yea, you got it right, it's a set-up, and poor Al ends up dead. Well, Al loves his wife, Wanda (Theresa Randle) more than life itself, and makes this pact with the devil to lead his army if he can come back to life and see his wife. So, the devil hooks him up with some pretty cool powers and sends him back to life to see his wife, it's just too bad our boy Al is all disfigured. So, Al is also supposed to seek revenge on Mr. Wynn for setting him up, and he's being coerced into all of this by Clown (John Leguizamo), who is one of the devil's henchmen. Well, Al's back alive, sort of, with these new powers, but the good person in Al starts to come through, and this is led by Cogliostro (Nicol Williamson). So, Al, or as he is now, Spawn, has to do some soul-searching and decide if he wants to be on the side of good or evil. Guess which side he ends up on?

Now, as off the wall as the story may go, if there is one thing that would be a reason to see this film it is for the special effects, and Clown. First off, the crazy Spawn suit and make-up that Michael Jai White has to endure is pretty incredible. Since it didn't really take too long for Al to get toasted in the set-up explosion, I can only imagine the hours of make-up and being trapped in a body tight suit had to be like. Then there are the effects going along with that suit. You've got chains with grasping claws flying all of the place, and this really huge cape that can make Spawn fly, turn into armor for a motorcycle, turn into this really big spike, and make Spawn blend into a building. And, if that's what hell is like (although the army guys seemed to be happy, at least until Spawn started killing them, but aren't they already dead, I'm sorry, I'm confused), I'm changing my ways and heading back to church. The devil is one scary ass dude, and all that fire and stuff - I have got to end up someplace air conditioned!

So, the effects were cool, and Spawn did a pretty decent job as a superhero, but Clown was really the show stopper, although most of it was all low-key, subtle humor that still gave hell a bad name. John Leguizamo, well, you couldn't tell it was him, did this great job of being just a total smart ass in trying to twist the fates of Jason Wynn, Al/Spawn, and start the end of the world. But, as best plans go, he had to contend with a guy sentenced to hell, but then somehow able to change sides.

Well, the religious person in me is now happy knowing that I can make a deal with the devil and go back on my word, because that's essentially what Spawn did. I'm also confused about this whole being dead but still being able to be killed thing. I guess I need to quit second guessing the religious aspect of the movie and take it for what it is, an adaptation of a comic book and not the bible. As far as a story goes, I would have to give Spawn a 1 1/2 star. But, the effects and make-up in this movie were some of the best I've seen in a long time - they would rank 4 1/2 stars. So, let's average the two and give "Spawn" 3 stars. It would be a shame to waste the effects by waiting for this movie to make it to video or cable, but it's also really a tough movie to sit through, at least for me.

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right! L8R!


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