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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Spawn newbies, problematic for hard-core fans
I came to this movie knowing basically nothing about the Spawn character, the comic strip, and the whole story behind Todd McFarlane's vaunted modern-day hero. I am familiar with McFarlane's work on Spiderman in the early nineties, but that's basically it. My reaction may thus be much different from devoted Spawn fans who had definite expectations from this film. Fans are...
Published on 21 Feb 2004 by Daniel Jolley

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good attempt but not good enough.
Let's face it, Spawn the comic was never going to be easy to transfer onto the big screen.
I think that Todd McFarlane & co didn't do all that bad a job of the movie, however, I do believe that the movie could have been MUCH better than it turned out. If only they made the film darker, like the comics, more in the style of say "Blade" with Wesley...
Published on 27 May 2000 by tayor


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good attempt but not good enough., 27 May 2000
Let's face it, Spawn the comic was never going to be easy to transfer onto the big screen.
I think that Todd McFarlane & co didn't do all that bad a job of the movie, however, I do believe that the movie could have been MUCH better than it turned out. If only they made the film darker, like the comics, more in the style of say "Blade" with Wesley Snipes.
A great prospect that was never given the right script, actors or director, Spawn could have been so much more than just another action movie with some eye-catching special effects, but alas it isn't.
Although Michael Jai White wasn't a bad choice for Al Simmons, Tony Todd should have been brought in for the voice of the deceased Simmons, aka Spawn. Also, someone like David Fincher could have directed this better in my mind and Todd McFarlane could have co-wrote a fantastic script with someone like Kevin Smith.
I have heard rumours of a sequel, which is promised to be a LOT darker than this, the first Spawn movie, I hope this is true, as Spawn really deserves to be a big budget, cleverly scripted box office & critical hit of a movie, not this half-... attempt.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Spawn newbies, problematic for hard-core fans, 21 Feb 2004
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
I came to this movie knowing basically nothing about the Spawn character, the comic strip, and the whole story behind Todd McFarlane's vaunted modern-day hero. I am familiar with McFarlane's work on Spiderman in the early nineties, but that's basically it. My reaction may thus be much different from devoted Spawn fans who had definite expectations from this film. Fans are apt to either love or hate the real-life movie dramatization of a favorite character, and this movie had definite limits that could easily rub fans the wrong way. I understand that there are some significant differences between the Spawn storyline we see here and that of the comic book series, that this is a much more linear retelling of the legend, one that could not afford to leave many unanswered questions at the end because the chances of making a sequel were unquantifiable at the time. The special effects are not bad at all, but the movie suffers from the overinflated billing of these special effects; if the studio hadn't overplayed their hand by naming this "the special-effects movie of the year" 1997, all of the computer animation would have been scrutinized less completely by moviegoers. The limitations imposed by the MPA ratings board in securing the film a PG-13 rating also basically ruined the film that was shown in theatres; this "director's cut" of the film is a complete and much, much better version than fans originally paid to see.
Spawn, for those who don't know, is not your typical superhero. Trained to be an elite assassin for the CIA, he ultimately decides to get out after a mission that kills a lot of civilians who, he was promised, would not be in the area of operations. His boss, played quite wickedly by Martin Sheen, basically sets him up and has him killed. Al Simmons, our hero's real name, goes from being burned alive to the always-flaming pits of hell, where he agrees to lead the devil's army in return for getting his wife back. While no time has passed for him personally, five whole years have come and gone back on earth, his wife is married to his best friend, he's horribly burned and disfigured, a rude and crude Clown keeps pestering him, and some old guy in a long coat keeps giving him the business about taking the wrong path. John Leguizamo is brilliant as Clown, the devil's representative on earth who has a hilarious yet nasty nature to match his dramatically strange appearance. It is his job to make sure Simmons, now being reborn as Spawn, acts according to plan and starts Armageddon as scheduled. Spawn isn't happy at all, despite the painfully new amazing armor his body begins to grow, and he lashes out in anger at the man he blames for his death. There is still a lot of Al Simmons underneath the scars and living armor, however, and the ultimate test will find him choosing whether to accede to the devil's plans or betray his evil covenant and become a dark angel for good in the world.
There are a lot, and I do mean a lot of CGI effects in this movie. Most of them are quite good, but as a whole the effects do not live up to their over hyped billing. The scenes taking place in the pits of hell, in a sense thrown in during the final stages of production, do not look very real at all; in truth, they look like the kind of animated sequence you might find in the computers games Doom or Diablo. Spawn's living armor is capable of extraordinary things, as is his vintage red cape, but some of the effects are a tad rough around the edges and all of them look and feel cinematic rather than truly realistic. As explained in the film's commentary, time and budgetary constraints explain the limits seen in this regard. Don't expect to see the world's greatest CGI here, and you stand less chance of being disappointed. The human side of this story is a compelling one, even though the film does not allow for the type of exposition found in the comic book series, I am sure. Spawn truly is a new kind of hero, a hero created from the pits of hell itself. For my money, though, the antics and unforgettable performance of John Leguizamo as Clown steal the show.
There are oodles of special features included on the DVD. I made a point of listening to the commentary because I wanted to know more about Spawn's story, and it made for fascinating listening. Featuring all of the men who basically created the movie, the most remarkable thing about the commentary is the list of all the cuts that had to be made in order to get a PG-13 rating for the film. Many of these cuts are frankly ridiculous and show just how out of touch with reality the censors have become these days. This theme is further expounded upon by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane in a series of fascinating interviews; you have to love the guy because he is anti-corporate to the core, fearlessly pointing out many of the problems with moviemaking today. The making of featurette is good, the music videos are must-see (especially Marilyn Manson's), and there are loads of original sketches and illustrations that will be of interest to hard-core Spawn fans.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Diabolical in every way, 20 Mar 2006
By 
Adrian Bagley "steadfast2002" (Poole, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
I'm quite a fan of good comic book adaptations, but sadly this isn't. The script is appalling, particularly the dialogue, the villains are laughable, the acting is worse (with the exception of the lead, who does his best given the lousy material). Even Martin Sheen as the villain looks if he'd rather shoot his agent than Spawn. Avoid like the plague, and rent Hellboy instead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 11 April 2014
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This review is from: Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Love this film, watching it for the first time after many years though the computer graphics are shockingly bad!
Still, a great film and I'm glad to have it in my collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best superhero movie ever, 6 Mar 2014
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But still a great one this is the blu ray us import and is region free :)

The film looks great in places and is rather fun and action packed the sound is clear and crisp too

the extras from the DVD are included in SD :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars spawn, 20 Aug 2013
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classic film starring Martin Sheen. One of the first Black superheroes . It's very entertaining , enjoyable , well worth the watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular, 4 July 2013
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This review is from: Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
The acting of the baddies was beautifully overdone, they obviously really enjoyed their roles. The clown was superb. How well he played the part of the disgusting, scatalogical beast, revelling in causing pain and suffereing. The human touch made the whole thing come to life for me, a great improvement over the animated film version. And the efforts of the director and producer were heroic, the sets wholly believable, giving us, the viewers, a jouney to a vastly different place to that of the world we know. The storyline was effective, ran on well, and made some sort of sense if you are prepared to suspend belief in the rational and logical, and go to the history of a mix of religious and gothic myth. Anyway this is why I enjoy well made films of this ilk, I can go somewhere else for a bit, and even watch it again occasionally. There is also a demonstration of the fragility yet underlying toughness of children to boot. It has a dark foreboding atmosphere, dreadful weather, with an abandoned forbidding Gothic cathedral, and a batman like city. The baddies really do look like they are going to have a serious win. I like that........
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only alright, just., 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
I love all things Spawn which is the only season why i gave this 3 stars. But of all the children in the Spawn family, this is a hard child to love. It was much lauded when it came out first because of it's special effects, but are fairly poor by today's standards. Unfortunately the SFX was the only card this film has up it's sleeve- the story is moribund (literally) and the acting is rubbish. If you're a Spawn fan its worth a look, if only to satisfy curiosity, but chances are you'll hate it. If you know nothing of Spawn, leave your brains at the door, or just give it a miss altogether.
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2.0 out of 5 stars pretty but bad, 17 April 2013
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This review is from: Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Pretty but choppy 3d, the characters are meant to be annoying so that dos'nt really count, but they are, also spawn mostly just shoots things instead of using hell powers. the narrators a nice touch i guess.
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2.0 out of 5 stars why put this put on bluray>?? my dvd is better quality, 2 Feb 2013
By 
D. S. Cook "Darren S Cook" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spawn (Director'S Cut) (Blu-ray)
one of my favourite films from growing up but if you are gonna release this on bluRay.. at least make the quality better... a bit of a con.. not to happy..
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Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997]
Spawn: The Director's Cut [DVD] [1997] by Mark A.Z. Dippé (DVD - 1999)
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