*Exacerbated sigh*, you know nothing comes round to bite you in the ass harder than childhood nostalgia. As a nerd this embarrassing ability to hark on about the better days (that’s to say ‘television’) of yesteryear can be bad enough – like raving about how the original The Last House on the Left was a far darker, more disturbed and far more brutal than the 2009 remake for months, then showing it to a group of friends at university after watching said remake and being unable to voice an opinion about film in their presence ever again -, but life is especially hard being an impressionable child of the 90s’ growing up in the dawn of the CGI blockbuster and gritty melodramatic dramas, and one such example of how I’ve learnt never to talk about former childhood favourites in front of others stands above all others in regard to all this preamble. Never has a film incorporated plot elements of every late 80’s/early 90’s action movie, 1989’s Batman, South Park’s ‘Prehistoric Iceman’ and Michael Scott’s Threat Level Midnight from The Office before or since 1997’s Spawn. Spawn is the bastard child result of years of inbreeding between Hollywood action drama and the emergence of dark, gritty comics come The Dark Knight Returns. During the 90’s Spawn was a tour de force of the geek scene; an anti-hero with a badass costume and the powers of Hell at his disposal as he took on the forces of the underworld. Cool stuff indeedio, and when the film was announced many a pair of underpants were ruined in anticipation. However the end result came off less of an antidote to the increasingly child-friendly instalments of the Batman franchise, more like the Hollywood adaption of Burnt Face Man; less a rival to Tim Burton’s hero, more a post-ironic Clerksesque satire. A film that attempted to ape its contemporaries, and succeeding only in that you can literally see the devolution of the genre into a lesser creature on the evolutionary scale.
Part 1: Side Effects May Cause Facial Lesions and Damnation
Meet everyman Al Simmons, a regular guy trying to balance his zany life as a family guy in a beautiful suburban neighbourhood against his work life as a government sponsored assassin with a history of killing people for money – so already audiences can empathise with him and his demanding lifestyle (unless they’ve never had to kill for money). One fine day in the middle of the night, opening as all 90’s action films do in an airport explosion, Al decides his life is in enough jeopardy being the only rich black guy in the neighbourhood so decides he wants out of the game to spend more time with his kid, and heads to main office to resign to the boss man himself, Martin Sheen’s Bastard Man (seriously, this is Burnt Face Man) aka Jason Wynn (WIN!); a man who smokes cigars, talks in riddles with a voice like a cement mixer chewing grave, and keeps scorpions – all those years travelling as a mercenary have taught Al nothing about what mise en scene says about a person. Alarm bells don’t ring when the man WHO KEEPS SCORPIONS begrudgingly accepts the resignation in compliance with the completion of a final mission…
Let’s skip back a few scenes. Wynn (WIN!) is in cahoots with a clown to whom he seems to have promised an ‘ultimate weapon’…to a clown – Christ let’s hope it isn’t Pennywise after a child attracting magnet. The Clown has tired of Wynn’s (WIN! – last one I promise) stalling and demands the biological agent required for his Master to kick start the apocalypse, but apparently engineering apocalypse-causing bio bomb is an exact science (pffft, these works of fiction and their lies). Clown reminds Wynn that is he wants to inherit the earth then he best speed up, but in the meantime he can provide the man that’ll lead the damned army: Al Simmons. On a side note, why Al and not Jessica Priest (more on her in a moment [what, you don’t believe me?])? Al has a human side and emotional commitments, contrasting with Jessica who is a pair of tits barely contained within a strip of PVC who is a ruthless, emotionally redundant killer through and through. If you knew anything about people, its use the ones more likely to get the job done to get the job done, with as little chance of them going all noble on you as possible.
Leaping forward again, Al has rather stoopidly taken the job to take down (read aloud in the voice of Manfred von Richthofen) “a North Korean refinery secretly producing biological weapons”. Shit, if Al’s danger senses are this dulled then it’s probably for the best he’s quitting while ahead. He takes the job, handed down by the man WHO KEEPS SCORPIONS who’s just threatened that agents never leave his agency. Surprise surprise, Al is betrayed and exploded by Wynn’s #2 assassin Jessica Priest. Whisked to Hell for a life of profit killing faster than it takes for a Momma Mia sing along to break out on the set of Loose Women, Al is offered a deal of the Faustian variety by the big bad: Malebolgia. For those wishing to know what true evil looks like, as luck would have it they released it in CHILD’S TOY form:
Malebolgia: I am the prince of lies and deceit. Wanna deal?
Al: I’ll do anything to see my wife and baby girl again, oh lord of betrayal and hidden clauses.
Malebolgia: Then lead my armies in the war against Heaven and-
Malebolgia:…Just like that? You sure you don’t want to hear the rest – no interest in the how’s, what’s and whys?
Al: Yes, now let me see my wife!
Malebolgia: I…I don’t know, this kind of feels like I’m taking advantage. Maybe we should discuss this another time.
Al: No. No, I want this.
Malebolgia: Still……well if you insist. Here, take this ubber armour – it’s super cool and does all kinds of freaky shit thanks to aspiring, yet limited, modern day movie capabilities.
Spawn is born as a crowd of identically dressed Hellspawn warriors cheer on. This is confusing for a variety of reasons, but I guess the main one is; if these guys are just regular damned souls dressed to wage war, then why are they allowed to stand around cheering rather than be punished for their mortal sins in forever hellfire? Even if they are forgoing their punishments by joining the ranks of the army, it’s still going to be some considerable time before the war begins, so what do they do between the cheering and the apocalypse? That aside, Al, having come down with a case of Soap Opera Syndrome returns to the realm of the living in the only place where Hell could form a dimensional bridge and yet no one would notice: Detroit – specifically the tramp-tastic alleyways of Michigan. Despite having a face horrifically burnt beyond recognition and with a voice like a garbage disposal grinding another garbage disposal grinding asphalt after a night of heavy drinking, Al befriends a small child and picks up a potential love interest in the form of Bum Who Knows More About This Shit Than A Bum Should. This bum Tells Mayor Al McCheese that he has the power to stop Malebolgia’s plan by using his own weapon against him. How you may ask – well apparently growing a big ‘ol crimson cape is part of it…maybe all of it really as it’s kinda glossed over. Deciding he’s had enough of hanging around with demons, Evil incarnate, and homo-hobos, Al goes in search of his family.
A day later – a WHOLE DAY – the super powered – the SUPER POWERED – Spawn finishes his walk – HIS WALK – home, to discover his wife has remarried his best friend Terry, despite him being a white and his kid has developed a case of gigantism – the dog still knows and loves him on the plus side, unlike the rest of his fucking family. Turns out it took Al McMelt-Face 5 years to walk to his house (or maybe time works differently in Hell) – either way he is bummed out, and what a day to be depressed because it’s his kids birthday, and who could be angry in the presence of a clown entertainer? Unfairly, the wife and new hubby don’t feel a man with a face like chewed gum and a stench that could floor a German SCAT fetishist is the kind of person who should be around their child – really it’s about the image of the neighbourhood as what kid doesn’t like smelly tramps? Al is chased away, followed by the clown – wait! That’s no clown, it’s Clown!!! No one seems at all phased the entertainment ran away with the melty man but this is a minor quibble. Clown tells Al he’s been sent to ensure he follows the path of evil, but sights of puppy dogs and younglings has reminded Al that he was once human, just like Stretch Arm Strong before the accident that cost him his law firm. ”What’s going on?” enquires Spawn, “my CGI is acting up” as his suit does the standard warping procedure that’s standard to this affair. After dropping fact-bombs like “I’m killable by decapitation”, Clown leaves. Retreating back to scum alley, Human Mincemeat meets with the prophetic bum again, who reveals himself as Cogliostro, a former Hellspawn who has freed his soul and now fights for heaven. You at home can also reveal yourself as “Cogliostro” to your friends and family – all you require is a hammer to your teeth and few hits of chemistry lab brand alcohol. Cogsworth beseeches Al to turn on his master and help humanity. Perception filters on people, this guys trying to convince us that mankind – the species that had Al kill for a living, killed Al, and is now boning his wife and chasing curious poor people off their precious lawn -, is less evil than the demon god who gave him a bitching suit, a trip back to see his little girl all grown up, and his own comic franchise. You see why this may fail to convince some.
Simmons Sausage-features is given a recap of the last half decade that has seen Wynn become a highly respected Presidential candidate who is leading the country towards true democratic prosperity. Realizing he’s actually showing clips from West Wing Codswolop reveals that Wynn is an arms dealer and has manufactured the deadly virus “Heat 16” – clearly developed and marketed in Japan. Even worse, Terry is essentially the PR officer for this generations’ Mega Hitler. As Terry explains to the press that Wynn is a kitten of a man merely inventing a virus that could kill every organism on the planet to prevent it falling into the hands of those who’d use it for the wrong reasons (tusk, works every time. Wake up America!), Wynn monologues to the boobs hanging from Jessica Priest that they have the only antidote and he’ll make a mint selling it once the virus is released. Unless its secret ingredient is Jesus, I’m thinking it’ll do little good against the impending Hell on earth, but hey I studied media not science. Terry’s enquiries into why Wynn is grace robbing in destabilized countries leads to his family (the one he stole) being threatened, and with that Wynn leaves for the party he is hosting downstairs. At this point I’d like to point out that the entire building is surrounded by armed guards and lacking the homely, respectable establishment touch that most senators and dignitaries are used to when attending balls thrown BY ARMS DEALERS, yet still they come. Like the Hamburgler he resembles, Simmons breaks into Wynns’ compound for mischief making, yet despite having tooled himself up with a suit that defies the laws of physics, he still prefers guns – dogs’ new tricks. Leather Face crashes the party and proves he is the bigger man to Wynn as most rational people would do; throttling him in front of a crowd of onlookers with promises of sending him to a Hell he knows for a fact exists. He throws Wynn across the room while a heavy 90s’ guitar backing shows up the movies age audibly, to fit with the sight of a pre-West Wing revival Martin Sheen flying through the air in slow motion from multiple replay angles – God I grew up watching this kind of shit for a decade!
Spawn: Terry, how could you marry my wife? That’s totally not cool bruv.
Terry:…er, because you were dead, apparently back when that meant something. C’mon man, you can’t hate a guy for taking advantage of an emotionally weakened single mother.
Spawn: True that.
Enough time has elapsed for Spawn to announce his presence and his arsenal to those integral to the plot, allowing Wynn’s goons squad to finally earn their paychecks. Boobs enter the upper balcony, followed eventually by Jessica Priest, who, having seen the capabilities of the man she flash-fried half a decade ago has one fine witty remark: “Nice outfit asshole”. Yeah, I recall being somewhat lost for eloquent words first time I met my first Venom Symbiote-clad zombie. Despite being bulletproof and armed to the teeth, rather than 80% fleshy boobage and wielding a lone Uzi, Spawn chickens out – psych! Nah he corners the broad and then his penis (symbolic wrist skull thing that extends from his wait. You don’t have to be Freud to cheapen every piece of imagery to its sexual undertones) bites her and she gets shot off a balcony, but not before she reels off the line “bit early for Halloween isn’t it, Simmons?” with all the emotion of a vacuum full of googly-eyes, which leads me to believe all the actors filmed their scenes separately as no one has any face to face interaction in this Goran movie! With the position of head of human recourses (or security, whatever her job was, it certainly wasn’t in communications) now open, every guard and his cat opens fire on Spawn until one gets lucky, as you do when armed with an RPG in any given situation, and blasts the Venom wannabe through the window. Falling to his certain death/undeath/a bit of pain/mild discomfort, Spawn is saved by his nipples which magically come to life and grapple him to the building, allowing him to (for lack of a more appropriate term) squid-hand his way with painstaking slowness away from the crowd of police below. Yes Spawn can literally travel faster than the speed of light in this scene, as search beams struggle to keep up with his crawling ass going in one direction whilst pinned to the side of a building. Dodging bullets while strolling daintily across window ledges can be hazardous but not for this guy; falling from the ledge, not as a result of being shot – God no, these guys couldn’t hit an iceberg with a Titanic (the vegetable with the dvd) -, but due to unsure footedness, Liquorish Man’s suit comes to his aid and like a Sandman in the wind flies away to safety. Not too sure on the technical details but I’m pretty sure thin pieces of wildly flapping cloth don’t enable the ability to say “Fuck you Gravity”, let alone steer yourself in the direction of up. This sort of shit wouldn’t fly with Batman. Ah, the money shot of Spawn standing atop an impossibly tall cathedral with his red cape wafting in the breeze – looks dated, but that was okay because we of the 90’s had lower expectations after over a decade of Conservative/Republican government rule. Now we have black nerd in the White House however, we demand better. Am I blaming Obama for Spawn? Well that’d be pretty racist wouldn’t it, me being Mexican and all.
Part 2: Never Underestimate the Kidnap-abiliy of Children
The ambulances have arrived at Wynn’s epic fail of a party – demonic zombie attacks tend never go down too well with the upper classes, or maybe it was that Simmons is black and they don’t appreciate that sort of thing seeing as their ancestors probably lost a lot of labour post-Civil War.
Wynn: Why didn’t you tell me Simmons would come back as an undead legionnaire and ruin my party!?
Clown: Because you never asked.
Wynn: Yes I did – exactly five years ago after you left my office at the beginning of the film!
Quote of the film: Clown calls Martin Sheen a “syphilitic ball sack” (SO getting him to sign that at the next Sheen-Con). Wynn informs the midget that Brandon Heat 16 is ready, but is curious to know why Al is so important. Answer: he’s the guy with the biggest body count in history, topping even that Russian train murderer, Starling, Vlad the Impaler, and the collective cast of my junior school book creative writing assignments. Naturally this makes Wynn a tad nervous for his life (“a killer so good even the Devil takes notice” tends to cause that reaction after said killer has come calling at your shindig), though Clown has a plan – they simply hook him up with a pacemaker that’ll trigger the Heat 16 upon Wynn’s death. Again, I’m not expert on things medical – if I was I’d have this rash checked out -, but when a clown offers you invasive surgical options never accept, especially when said clown works for the devil and has everything riding on world destruction. Be even more hesitant in saying “sure, rig my heart to a biological warhead” when the clown wants the warhead to launch. Wynn agrees, failing to ask them to remove his terminal stupid while they’re at it.
Oh the irony of the cosmos, who’d have thought that Al’s Ex-wife Wanda would be working to rid the world of the Heat 16 virus while at the same time knobbing the man defending Wynns’ right to kill people hard. Ex-wife is giving a presentation to some well dressed hippies about the chaos caused by Heat 16, and the misery of the children left alone and orphaned – not getting the irony of leaving her child alone in the other room with a man with a basket ball for a head – oh, that’s Al who’s come to see his daughter, whom is almost admirable for not vomiting up a lung and cowering in a pool of her own piss when approached by a molten hobo who knows her name while alone in a strange building. Christ with a stomach like that I should ask her to take a look at this rash. She brought her dog too, who recognises Al even through all the rot and stench of damnation. With his team in place Spawn is ready to fight back against Malebolgia, with Daughter, Fido, and Cogst…Cogsti….Collin. After being poked in the face several times and told he has a funny head, Spawn decides fatherhood isn’t for him and carries (not escorts, CARRIES) his girl back to her mother – I’m beginning to see why there were so many paedophile scares come the dawn of the new century if it was this easy, but then again that’s how I met my wife when she picked me up in a supermarket. Clown watches from above but his hilarious antics fail to impress Malebolgia who cuts it short (thanks for that Malebolgia, you’re alright in my books) and whisks Clown back to Hell for a scolding. Clown wonders why they need Spawn at all when clearly he should be commanding the invasion forces – as his record of strategic planning and sole job of preventing Al going AWOL have demonstrated, I wouldn’t trust Clown to lead a lone quadruple amputee on a leash and skateboard to a watery grave, which is a shame because I really don’t want to get my own hands dirty disposing of my wife.
Meeting adjourned, Wanda sees her daughter talking to Emperor Palpatine, whisking her away with lectures of ‘don’t talk to strangers’ – Daughter misses a trick by not replying “He’s not a stranger, he knows my name, who you are, and where we live”. Spawn watches from the front lawn under cover of light shadow as Terry comes to pick up his family, worrying Wanda with tales of danger upon them (not her day for good news). The family dog ‘Spaz’ refuses to leave Spawn – I like to think Spawn smells of BBQ and that as the film goes on he is constantly pestered by dogs and fat people -, but the family don’t seem to mind and leave after pathetically shouting “Spaz” less times than it was likely hurled abusively around the set during filming. With Spaz in tow, Spawn heads over to the alleys to pick fights with bums, in which time we learn his weakness: an inability to kill if a child throws himself onto the victim and proclaims “he may beat me viciously for scraps, but he’s my dad”. All Clown needs is a vest of young clown fetishists with dementia and he’d be unstoppable.
Worthy of its’ own paragraph; Wynn goes and has the surgery that’ll trigger the apocalypse and forfeit his life. Retard.
What is it with the children in this city? Not enough that his own daughter doesn’t flee in terror when a stranger with the Evil Dead’s Necronomicon for a head approaches her, now the kid of the guy Spawn nearly beat to death has actively gone in search of him – climbing a church in search of the man in slithering black/white duds and finding him tooled up with an arsenal that’d make Ronald Regan moist. I knew a kid that was afraid of moths. MOTHS! Spawn really should have gone for the PG rating its writers clearly wanted. Elsewhere Wynn’s out of surgery and Clown is haemorrhaging expositionary dialogue – it’s time for Cogliostro (or ‘Cogsworth’ as I like to call him as IT’S FUCKING PRONOUNCABLE) to step up to the plate.
Clown finds Spawn but is deemed too scary for his new kid sidekick Zack (this film couldn’t be more 90’s if it had a Seinfeld reference) – how a guy with a face like that, an entire arsenal and a history of assassinations can tell the kid that the thus far non-violent fat man in a bit of makeup is dangerous with a straight face is beyond me.
From the picture above, who’d you rather leave in charge of your children? Rather reasonably, Spawn wants to know why he above all others is qualified to lead the armies of Hell.
Clown: Because killing is what you were made to do, even while you were just so much sperm.
Spawn: But my father was a chartered accountant.
Clown: Yes, well it’s just in your DNA. All those assassination missions and service in the Marines were just practice until the day.
Spawn: So even if I’d grown up to be a flag maker you’d still have selected me to command? What kind of fucked up system do you have down there?
Clown: That’s it, I’m turning into Violator!
And in a ‘poof’ of CGI wizardry and a “I’m not the Vindicator, or the victimizer, or the vaporizer, or the vibrator” (or the valet parker, or the vasodilatation, or the vas-deference, or Van Wilder…) he turns into a giant gecko with a jaw size restricted by animatronics capabilities. Still fucking awesome! He proceeds to kick Spawns newbie ass until Spaz comes to the rescue (commander of Hell’s army rescued by a dog). Understandably terrified at the prospect of more ankle biting, Violator goes to ground – much like in what I hesitate to call Godzilla, there is no explanation of how you lose an enormous spiky reptile in a narrow confined space, but clearly this was the other trope of ’97, the other of course being terrible blockbusters with too much CGI (seriously, look at what else came out this year and ponder on how we ever ended up with Serenity or Inception). After a bit of tension has been cranked Violator grabs Zack’s dad (Established Bum #2) and, I swear this true, slaps him around a bit – pimp back-hander style – before running off again, later jumping Spawn who can’t hear it sneaking up on him (the fuck?!). For the record, this is what Spawn epic fails to see creeping up behind him:
If this thing was anywhere but my nightmares or the wedding reception of my father’s marriage to my step mom, I’d know about it. Again, Spawn doesn’t know this is behind him
Spawn gets thrown against a gate, crucifixion style (think they’ll get the subtle use of symbolism guys?) and impaled. Add gates to Spawns list of enemies/weaknesses. Fight over; Violator returns to Clown form and incentifies Spawn thusly: do what I say or I’ll rape your wife. Works for me, but what would be worse; if he did it as Clown or Violator? Polls close Sunday. To help you decide there is even a short scene of Clown enacting what he believes a rape would be like. SPOILER, it’s not what you’d think. As Clown heads off to wait at Wanda’s Spawn is rescued from his hilarious trappings by Codswallop, who ‘tuts’ over him like a disapproving mother.
Fun stuff over, back to the dreary espionage action section of the narrative in which Terry accesses Wynn’s restricted files. Blah blah. Return us to Spawn! Ah, just in time to see Come Dine With Me pointing a sword hand/hand sword at Spawn’s throat. “I can’t afford to be wrong he says”, and tests his luck by asking is Spawn is alright…..yes, were I checking to see if the ultimate weapon of Hell might be considering following through on his contract that’d be the one single question I pose him – or her (blasted Suffragette movement). Satisfied by Spawns less than straight answer the sword is retracted and a lesson in anger management is given to prevent Spawns [completely] justifiable rage attacks from causing further harm to the miserable, dejected street urchins plaguing the city like bad analogies in this review. Things should be taken with a pinch of salt when watching a man dressed as Tom Baker’s Dr Who lectures a man made of tar and mistreated bacon about growing up and acting like a real man, yet that’s what’s happening here as The Doctor outlines that Spawn’s rage can and will be used against him to manipulate his actions – apparently Al Simmons knew that “violence only leads to pain and suffering”, but this is a terrible analogy to sway even the most spinelessly agreeable of people as AL SIMMONS WAS A KILLER FOR HIRE who only quit after raking in enough money to buy the Channel Islands!!! Spawn can’t accept that he has to move on and forget his old life, yet despite his protests Cogsworth still gives him tutelage in using his suit to create weapons capable of wounding Clown, in a scene not amiss from a cartoon where the hostage negotiator ends up taking orders from the terrorist. A brief bit of fanwank with the chains later and Spawn is on route to Wanda, with Cargoshorts filling in a plot hole from earlier by dropping a line about his cape also having its own powers. This is never developed beyond this statement. EVER
Remember that part about this film not possibly being more 90s? Well, now Spawn’s got a motorbike. And Clown’s got a big rig of toxic waste or fuel or whatever, with which he tries to run Pepper Mint Suit off the road as part of Operation: Piss Spawn Off Till He Kills Wynn, which I think he tried to do earlier without any incentive. Enough time has passed since some CGI was used, so Spawn turns into a magic conch shell and rams into Clown. Style.
Part 3: Hate on Revenge of the Sith – At Least the Lava Looked Real
Spawn arrives at Wanda’s to see her strung up on a coat rack designed by H.R.Giger, and Terry ball-gaged and tied down (looks like Clown was as good as his word on the whole raping thing). Believing Wynn (also at Wandas’ house for reasons never made clear) has killed Wanda Spawn roughs him up a bit but stops short of killing him. Wanda then reveals herself to be Clown in disguise, rather than maintain the illusion she sold her soul to Malebolgia to really fuck with Spawn’s head – rather than just cutting it half off as he then does. Why all this set up? Isn’t it enough that Wynn just die to launch the warheads, does it have to be by Spawn’s hands for the plan to work? Only then does Wynn realise he was stitched up to begin the apocalypse – did he really believe the devil wanted to stop it happening and gave him a world-ending device for his own benefit? Clown slips “Apocalypse Now” into a sentence lolz, then returns Wanda from Hell in order to make Spawn watch the fun with penis she’ll be having. Oddly enough the thought of a demonic clown sexing his wife fails to spur Spawn into action so Cogsworth must save the day once again. Clown retreats to Hell. To snub the grievously wounded Spawn for his terrible life choices (ie choosing not to take free advice) Cogsy unties Wanda before tending to Spawns neck related problems and leaping into Hell to confront Violator.
You know, despite its failings (its many, multiple, numerous, lots of, countless failings) I will say this for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; its flame and lava effects look incredibly realistic – Mustafa was a literal living Hell planet and I totally buy into that. Rewind 8 years and we are clearly not on Mustafa. The Hellish dimension of Spawn is certainly a punishment for the eyes, like replying the original Tomb Raider only with less screaming at the stupid bitch when she won’t grab a ledge because the camera is too focussed on her arse and you die over and over again! So it certainly is more enjoyable than a stint on Tomb Raider – is that a compliment? May as well be, seeing as I’ve been less than generous so far. Well done Spawn, you are better than playing the original Tomb Raider (*slow hand clap*).
But how can I get caught up mocking unsophisticated 90s graphics when there a brawl to end all brawls (apart from Super Smash Bros, of which the story mode could outlast the life spans of several elephants glued together with immortality paste) happening. Things….don’t go that smoothly, as Cogsplugh gets a royal tea-bagging by Violator until Spawn makes his appearance. Violator is fended off after the heroic duo fight like their animated assed depended on it, eventually retreating with a shoulder wound – what I now perceive to be the weak spot of all demon spawn. To the cemetery kids! So with Violator off licking his
balls wounds all is done and the day is saved.
Shit! There’s still more. Spawn and Cough-syrup have drawn unwelcome attention – ironic as they are the unwelcome ones -, and Malebolgia and his armies of copy/paste Hellspawn soldiers are ready for Round Death. Malebolgia reminds Spawny that if he won’t lead his armies then he will die (can you die once you’re in Hell?). Despite the shot lingering on Spawn’s head you never actually see his mouth move when he replies “no”, making me think that Cogsworth threw his voice;
Malebolgia: Last chance Spawn. Do you choose servitude over death?
Cogsworth (off screen): No.
Spawn: Wait, what? I don’t want to die. I will lead your army.
Cogsworth (off screen): No. No I won’t.
Spawn: Shut up!
Malebolgia: Then it is decided. Spawn you will die!
Spawn: No, no you got it all wrong. Please, I really would like to lead the crusade.
Cogsworth (off screen): No I really wouldn’t. I was lying that last time. Also you are a gay.
Malebolgia: YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS GAY. Bring me Spawn’s head!
Spawn: Ahhhh, dick move.
Before he can be blamed for anything else, Spawn shoots lightning from his nipples and shins and eradicates the multiple legion of Hellspawn…within seconds. Either Heaven was Fucked before Spawn messed up Malebolgia’s plans, or the prince of darkness miscalculated and put all his eggs in one basket when handing out his power-levels quota to Peppermint Pete. With the remaining trillion Hellspawn rushing to meet them, Spawn grabs Cogsworth and cheeses it, leading to my top unintentional comedy moment in film to date. As they zoom into the vortex Malebolgia boldly states “You will never escape me”, right before they escape him – literally slipping through his ginormous fingers. Blazed.
Emerging back into Midgard, Spawn is confronted by the new owners of the house he left from – the Jargansons. Time has elapsed once again and ten whole years have passed since he and Cogsworth went after Violator. Wanda is now a senator remarried for the second time, Terry is an investment banker working to compensate those whose lives were ruined by the now imprisoned (and frequently raped) Wynn, and Daughter is now at college where she is studying political art biological science with her fiancé Jonge Peterson; a Chinese design student. Oh wait no, that would require some kind of continuity. Instead Spawn and friend return a few earth minutes after they left. Worse still than this glaring omission to facts about Hell time laid down only 60 minutes ago, no one has done anything about Wynn who cowers in the corner and is free to run at any time. The family and heroes exchange shifty glances that signals that everything is alright (apart from Al’s face), and the family cuddle and comfort on the couch while Spawn and Cogsworth (dressed as a knight of the Templar) sit by the fire and VERY blatantly stare at them whilst talking about them in raised voices (being abducted by a clown who makes dodgy deals with former cast members of West Wing has desensitised them to the opinions of others somewhat). Spawn admits that they work better as a family than Al Simmons could have managed (a husband and father who isn’t a contract killer; apparently in high demand). To make the occasion even happier without the use of smiley emoticons edited over the actors faces, Spaz returns courtesy of the urchin boy from the gutters with the ability to read directions from dog brains. Daaaaaw with things this pleasant what better what for the film to enHOLY SHIT IT’S VIOLATOR! Rewind several seconds, and daughter has wandered away from her now awkwardly fondling parents to get a better look at the fire place THAT LINKS EARTH TO HELL– my parents wigged out on me for going to close to our fire, and all that lead to was the burial pit for all those missing children. Violator passes through the wall and grabs Spawn faster than the Cheetos-encrusted fingers of a nerd at a convention, unphazed by the magic lightning bullets Terry fires at him from the gun he must have acquired while Spawn was gone for hours in Hell – that or film makers had been told to give Terry a gun for the range of movie cash-in toys. While Spawn struggles against the onslaught, Coldplay stands there slack jawed – and this is the man who told Spawn, chosen above all other demons and Hellspawn for his power, that he would have killed him if he’d have sided with Clown, the weaker of the pair. Big words for a small man. Spawn activates his now conveniently bite-proof helmet and uses his chains to behead Violator, whose head transforms back into Clowns and slithers back into the fire, leaving viewers baffled as to whether this has actually killed him or not.
Police and journalists crowd the house. Terry allows that the files he has uncovered implicate Wynn with chemical/biological/math-based warfare. Wynn is lead away. All the Heat 16 warheads have been disposed of….in a matter of hours at most. Quite how this is possible is simple; you could do whatever the fuck you liked in the 90s when it came to taking other people’s property, before 9/11 came along and fucked it up for everyone. Nice going Bin Laden, now no one will take my stock pile of redundant Small Pox missiles away for fear of having to fill in hours of paperwork. This is especially worth quoting:
Journalist: Terry, do you have any further comments?
Terry: Something I should have done a long time ago.
Were they even reading from the same script, let alone page? Spawn has given his Daughter his bracelet of her baby photo that glows with the jade evils of Hell, which isn’t exactly a child-friendly gift but it’s the thought that counts. And with all those loose ends tied up, the film draws to a close with Spawn valiantly watching over the bum-ridden streets from his cathedral spire up high….although they never did put an end to Malebolgia’s plans. Meh, I’m sure they’ll get around to that in the sequel…HA!