johnlink ranks SPARTAN (2004)

I remember liking this movie, but absolutely nothing else about it. I knew it was a spy-thriller. I knew Val Kilmer was in it. But I don’t remember anything about watching it five or six years ago. How good a film could it be if I couldn’t remember anything about it?

I watched SPARTAN (2004) on 3.2.10. It was my second viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

I remember, now, why I don’t remember this film. I can’t figure out why I thought it was so great. Upon this second viewing, I think that mediocre is a much better description. Everything about it is middle of the road. Val Kilmer has been better in some things and worse in others. Same goes for William H. Macy and David Mamet’s writing.

Macy’s character is everything wrong with this film. He has all of three lines pre-climax, so there is no possibility of surprise when the curtain is pulled back and we see who has been playing the wizard. They would have been much better off casting a no-name. This also led to the annoying phenomenon wherein the trailer shows all stuff from the film’s final battle because Macy doesn’t appear in enough of the film to show anything else.

Mamet never really sells us on this world. Everything spoken is so stylized. It works when he writes criminals, guys who make a living on trying to convince others of how cool they are, but it never is quite believable in the world of super-marines. There are moments of this film which work, but the overall falls short.

So what is good? Kristen Bell before she was famous is good in it. There is one major surprise (and, not surprisingly, the one thing I remember about the film) which is shocking upon first viewing. Kilmer has moments of such coolness, like when he beats up a pimp in a back alley, which make the movie sporadically fun. But, ultimately, there is not enough good to make this a memorable, or rewatchable, experience.


FILM: 4; MOVIE: 6; ACTING: 5; WRITING: 4 (What is this?)



~ by johnlink00 on March 2, 2010.

One Response to “johnlink ranks SPARTAN (2004)”

  1. You’ve made me want to watch this one again. I enjoyed it so much on first viewing I bought it, but like you I don’t recall much about it at this point.

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