Michael Jai White stars an assassin whacked by his bosses and sent to Hades, where he gets a new lease on the afterlife as one of the Hellspawn (infernal storm troopers groomed for the apocalyptic assault on heaven). But while the others of his kind do evil work, Spawn uses his powers for good, though he would like nothing more than to exact revenge on his killer (Martin Sheen). John Leguizamo co-stars in this reinterpretation of the superhero genre.
It doesn't nearly capture the sharp visual style of Todd McFarlane's drawings. I will say it feels more like an experimental film, certainly this was the first "dark superhero" flick aside from the Batman movies. But it feels so uneven, ranging from terrible one liners to intriguing special effects, it doesn't find a middle-ground. Its script and direction seem hashed together to create a sorta cinematic experience.
I saw a sneak preview of this in 1997 and thought it was shit then. Not sure why I thought watching it 16 years later would help. Anything positive Spawn had going for it was put towards its now badly-executed special effects and nothing else. This movie has quite possibly the words titles I've seen in my entire life. But for as awful as Spawn is, for some reason I always watch it when its on cable.
I remember being 10 years old and thinking this was the coolest looking movie ever. In hindsight, I was obviously wrong, but I still get excited watching it today.