release year: 1997
genre: fantasy/horror
viewing setting: theater, 7/28/97 (free sneak preview)
what I expected: unknown (I never read the comic book)
what I got: Mortal Kombat-ish effects with a simpler plot and less cool action, but more humor

synopsis: Government hit man with some semblance of conscience is betrayed and killed...and for some reason returns as a weird, superpowered being. Well, actually, I do know why he comes back: the devil wants him to lead the armies of Hell on their crusade into our dimension. But, the human-turned-Spawn still has feelings, both of love for his former fiancee and revenge toward those who betrayed him. No way is he staying put and being quiet.

impressions: This film seems to suffer from the same ill that plagued Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat: they didn't want to make it R-rated, since a big chunk of the audience would be younger kids. The movie was entertaining, and had some great special effects (the armies of Hell looked way cool) but I couldn't help but feel that there should have been much, MUCH more death and destruction. I also would've liked more explanation on how and why certain things were happening.

acting: Michael Jai Wallace is okay as Spawn, but make no mistake about it - John Leguizamo absolutely steals the show as the evil Clown. Martin Sheen's bad guy is less humorous and over-the-top, and I didn't really take him too seriously.

final word: Fairly entertaining, spectacular effects, and the young kids will like it - but it's no classic.

rating: C

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