Yesterday's bad superhero movie, Steel, was based on a pretty good comic. The same cannot be said for Spawn, based on Todd McFarlane's really dumb book that inexplicably was a brief sensation in the collector world. McFarlane is a terrific artist with his own very special style, but Spawn was like the ultimate singularity of grim n gritty nonsense, and I found the book's mythology and writing to be impenetrably bad.
But not as bad as the movie! The Spawn movie is pretty next level terrible, filled with the kind of CGI that proves this shit will NEVER AGE WELL to bad performances to a style that seems to be half Burton Batman, half Riami Darkman (but without the knowing wit), all badly executed. Director Mark A.Z. Dippé found his career plummeting to the likes of Frankenfish (which surely must have been written by a mentally ill licensed PI of some sort) and Garfield's Pet Force. He was an FX guy before Spawn (ironic), and he's returned to that as well, working on the Paranormal Activity films.
Special mention must be made of John Leguizamo, playing the lesser of his two roles that forced him to be on his knees an entire motion picture (this is not some kind of porn comment. Look at Moulin Rouge). He's not as annoying as he is in, say, The Pest, but he's pretty fucking unbearable as Clown. I don't know what Martin Sheen is doing in this film, and neither it seems did he.
Watching this trailer I burst out laughing about six times, but by the end I was in tears. The reason? You know somebody's going to be rebooting this shit in the next few years.