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Recap / The Nostalgia Critic S 9 E 4

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Release: February 23, 2016

Film: Spawn

Tagline: If this is what Hell’s army looks like, God’s got it pretty easy.

This review contains examples of:


  • Actor Allusion: In-Universe, the Critic claims Al/Spawn hates clowns, alluding to his actor Michael Jai White's role as Gambol from The Dark Knight, who was one of the Joker's victims.
  • Adaptation Decay: The Critic thinks the film is a huge disservice to the original comic books.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Critic claims that Martin Sheen always wanted to play a comic book character. As punishment, he was cast in this film as Jason Wynn, one of the antagonists.
  • Call-Back:
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    • The Kermit the Frog sock-puppet from the Labyrinth review returns as one of the Devil's guises.
    • The Devil admits that his popularity hasn't been the same ever since he sat around in an elevator.
    • The Critic compares Assassin Tamara's Sensual Spandex to the outfit of characters from the Matrix trilogy, which he reviewed as his January 2015 theme.
    • When the Critic asks if there is a hell to hell, a clip from his lampooning of TMZ from the opener of his A.I. review plays.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-Universe, the Devil made the terrible mistake of basing his new hellscape after the movie version of Spawn instead of the original comics.
  • Dork Age: In-Universe, the Critic explains that the film came out in 1997, the same year as Batman & Robin, which he considers a time when comic book films weren't taken as seriously as they are today.
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  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The review begins with the Critic being killed with a falling wrecking ball and being plunged into Hell.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: When Violator tells Martin Sheen's character it's time to "kickstart the Apocalypse Now", the Critic is so disgusted that he asks everyone in Hell to collectively boo the joke.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Points out that Jessica Priest's outfit would make her stick out like a sore thumb while she's trying to be an assassin.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Critic admits giving the Devil tips on how to be better at his job was probably a bad idea when he wants to conquer the planet. Subverted, in that the Devil thankfully didn't learn nearly enough.
  • Obviously Evil: The Critic lampshades how blatantly evil Jason was, what with having an ashtray inhabited by scorpions, a pet tarantula, and pictures of nuclear explosions on his wall. He goes on to claim that even Skeletor would advise him to tone it down.
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  • Sensual Spandex: Jessica's leather assassin outfit has the Critic cracking up, wondering if any real assassin wears sexy outfits. The Devil summons one (Tamara), who the Critic quickly dismisses before calling up Benny as an example of a more practical assassin.
  • Shout-Out: In one scene, the Devil uses an E-Tank.
  • Special Effects Failure: In-Universe, the Critic's verdict on the film's version of Hell, especially the CGI Malebolgia.
  • Take That!:
    • When the Critic wonders if there's a Hell in Hell (after Malebolgia threatens Al that he will die, even though he is already dead, should he fail his mission), the Devil says there is indeed a Hell in Hell. Turns out it is TMZ.
    • After Violator complains that God gets all the good followers while Malebolgia gets the dumbest ones after seeing three Satanists, the Critic wonders if he has seen God's Not Dead, Left Behind (2014), Old Fashioned and War Room, all poorly-received modern Christian films.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: The Devil feels he's losing his touch and tried to learn to be cooler. Unfortunately, he found this movie to base himself off of. Thankfully, he ended up learning not nearly enough.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In-Universe, the Critic points out the movie had a lot of potential, but due to how poorly it was handled, it failed big time.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe, the Critic compares Malebolgia to a giant turd sculpted to look like a hyena with sea-turtle dicks for ears, Ron Weasley's pubes for hair, and the voice of Dr. Claw, or at least Sauron's pet chihuahua. In particular, his unmoving mouth forces the Critic to admit that at least We Wish You a Turtle Christmas (which he reviewed in December 2015) tried to make the Turtles' mouths move.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: In-Universe, the Critic admits that while that CGI is atrocious, the make up work is actually really good.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The Critic questions why Violator doesn't just kill Wynn himself given how freaking powerful he is.

Kickstart the apocalypse now!
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