Spawn (1997)

Genres - Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Superhero Film, Fantasy Adventure  |   Release Date - Aug 1, 1997 (USA)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Robert Firsching

Many action movies resemble filmed comic books anyway, so it's nice to see one in which the cartoonish violence and silly characters are intentional. The audacious big-screen debut of flaky comic book artist Todd McFarlane's most popular creation is not for all audiences, however. Far from a corporate Batman clone, Spawn is daring, edgy, and wears its counterculture heart on its sleeve, making it a sure bet to enthrall some viewers and alienate others. With its horribly burnt, vengeful antihero (Michael Jai White); its perverse, villainous Clown (John Leguizamo, in a show-stealing turn); and its frequent trips down a fiery tunnel to the pits of Hell, it may appeal more to young horror fans than the traditionally mainstream superhero set. Hardcore fans of the comic book may quibble with some of the toned-down intensity, however, and will want to seek out the darker, more violent animated Spawn films which McFarlane made for HBO.