Spawn | Chicago Reader


This hopelessly redundant action gross-out aspires to a form of hip vacuousness—and may achieve it. John Leguizamo, continuing the extended fart joke he began a series of roles ago, is verbally spry as usual, stealing attention from the rest of the cast with more than just his gooey prosthetics. The usual superhero's etiology gives birth to Spawn, a former assassin (Michael Jai White) who's double-crossed by politician Martin Sheen in a typically villainous attempt at world domination. Some soul selling that takes place in the cliched underworld is supposed to account for all the high-tech transmogrification various characters undergo as they flex their powers, but only the poetic unfurling of Spawn's flowing red cape is eye-catching enough to merit the screen time and energy. With nothing up its sleeve but the kind of self-reference that's supposed to be funny just because it exists, this movie actually cuts to an impassive close-up of Sheen when Leguizamo mentions something about an “apocalypse—now.” Directed by Mark Dippe; written by Alan McElroy based on the comic book by Todd MacFarlane.

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