I shall be investigating Sparks in great detail, studying it’s origins and analysing its pattern to determine if it’s a live wire or closed circuit. So read on only if you’ve already seen Sparks, or don’t plan to.
0:00:33 In Rochester, New York 1920, a boy paces in the front garden while his father takes a psychotic break.
0:02:11 The father is wearing steam punk goggles that he removes just before a bright light illuminates the opening credits.
0:02:28 The bright light was a meteor that killed 270 people and exposed 75 people to an unknown form of radioactivity, which, as we all know, is the worst kind of radiation.
0:03:11 18 months later and still in the credits, only 13 of the those 75 exposed are still alive. They should start a coven.
0:03:29 Each of the ‘Rochester 13’ has developed his or her own personal radioactive mutation. They should start an X-men.
0:03:41 Still in the credits, we learn that one of the Rochester 13 was a serial killer who died in a fire and wrote a suicide note. Incidentally, he also had the most brilliant serial killer moniker ever: Ringmaster Jesus.
0:04:25 The film begins 28 years later with a manhunt for Ian Sparks, a copy-cat killer–unless Ringmaster Jesus faked his suicide so he could continue with the killing. This would also explain Jesus’s suicide note that said the mutation would allow him to continue God’s work, which sounds more like motive than suicide.
0:06:30 Sparks begins to tell a newspaper editor and a reporter the story of his life, starting at 6-years-old. Call it a ‘flash way back’.
0:07:19 A mob car in a shoot-out with police hits his parents’ car at a train crossing and forces it into the oncoming locomotive, where it explodes. Both of his parents die. On the bright side, he gets to keep their jewellery.
0:08:14 At 15, he made his grandmother sew him a super hero costume and began calling himself Sparks. And I thought I was gay.
0:10:39 A young woman Super (Ashley Bell as “Lady Heavenly”) arrives at the scene where grown-up Sparks and the police battle the Mafia. As the police have no weapon of any sort other than their fists, I see this film is set in the 20s. The 1620s.
She was the type of woman whose first name you instantly wanted to add to your last.
Lol. Yes, 1620s indeed. They don’t get married, but they do become partners…in crime prevention.
0:14:39 At a particularly horrific crime scene, the pair chase a man with steam punk goggles and who leaves behind a old movie camera and a note on the wall written in blood: I Ran Out Of Tampons. (Actually, it read “I am Matanza”: a new serial killer who happens to dress exactly the same as Ringmaster Jesus. Coincidence? Yes, like catching herpes the day after you sleep with a reality show star.)
0:15:51 Matanza is locked up in the Refinery Brewery, where Sledge (Heavenly’s ex-partner) gets turned away so that Sparks and Heavenly can nail the criminal.
0:17:05 Aww, it was all a setup for a surprise one-year anniversary / marriage proposal for Lady Heavenly.
The real surprise will be when Matanza actually does crash the party.
0:17:43 Didn’t take me long to be right.
0:18:57 In the sewers, Sparks and Heavenly find Matanza with a police woman strapped to a table in her bra. She’ll need more support than that.
0:19:45 In a series of flashes, Sparks is passed out on the floor while Heavenly is tortured and filmed by Matanza. (For more in torture movies, here’s Nicolas Cage’s filmography.)
0:21:03 Sledge captures Matanza, but not before we’re led to believe Matanza broke Heavenly like a law, thus finishing the romance between her and Sparks.
0:23:35 Meanwhile, back in the present, Sparks continues his recitation to the journalist, saying that when he was 23 he was retired and washed up. He could use more of the latter now.
0:24:29 According to the headlines, Sledge killed Matanza, whose body was burned beyond recognition. This is film-speak for ‘so, not really dead’.
0:26:23 Lady Heavenly reunites with the Sledge. Perhaps she misses being nailed by a man in a peen helmet.
0:28:06 Sparks tries to hang himself; however, despite hanging around all night, he doesn’t die. Like me in a Soho toilet.
0:29:08 The cop from the chase scene at the beginning of the film (the inimitable Clancy Brown as Archer) pulled Sparks down and, in the hospital, tells him to meet later at the intersection where his parents died…
0:30:49 …to tell him something about the tainted soil there regenerating too quickly to build homes on. Probably linked to the Red G that spilled from the train during the accident and poured over the Officer and Ian as a boy. This undoubtedly means they won’t be able to build tract housing on Ian, either.
0:32:36 Training montage. About as thrilling as actual training.
What are we doing here?
Seriously, Ian? Is this your first time in a graveyard? Do you not know how a cemetery works?
0:34:54 Sparks is introduced to the super hero offspring of the Rochester 13. There are two: Kane is a bald man who can throw fireballs. And Dawn, a lesser beauty, can resemble anyone with whom she’s come into contact. If I had this gift I’d touch Ryan Gosling and not leave my flat for the day…
0:38:06 The three Supers (Sparks, Kane & Dawn) and the cop chase Jason Driver, one of the Rochester 13 who became half-animal and killed people, including Ian’s parents.
0:39:08 Dawn comes into Ian’s bed and morphs into Lady Heavenly because she knows how to make Sparks fly.
0:41:30 Dawn inherited her morphing gift from her father: Ringmaster Jesus. I imagine she’d have preferred a Jesus gift as opposed to a Ringmaster one.
0:46:40 Driver’s rug rats are spitting images of him. Emphasis on ‘spitting’.
0:48:0 The plan to capture Driver at his hotel backfires, literally, and Sparks gets burned.
0:48:54 While Ian is unconscious, Dawn morphs into ‘bad’ Driver and withdraws money from his bank account. Unfortunately, the explosion that killed Driver also killed over 20 people, including children. The super hero team turns out to be super villains, and why not? Everyone else in this film is.
0:51:45 In a flash back to the day his parents were killed, we see the cops weren’t trying to arrest Driver and his henchmen, but to rob them. One of these crooked cops was Ian’s new mentor. This brings the tally of villains in this film to 8, by my count. WTF!?
0:54:23 Having avenged his parents, Sparks is now on a mission to get revenge for the people who died while he was getting revenge. This film has a lack of focus, which is often the case for comic book films that include many volumes. Too much novel, not enough graphic.
0:58:58 Dawn is now making a living as a prostitute doing men who have specific people in mind they want to sleep with. Who do you chose?
1:00:32 Dawn had a brother, meaning Ringmaster Jesus had a son who left home…and (I suspect we’ll learn) became Sledge the Tool.
1:01:20 Ian sells out Dawn morphed into Lady Heavenly to his boss for a stack of cash and a promotion. An insult to Dawn and Heavenly, both, making it two birds with one figurative stone.
1:02:05 Now Ian is paying Dawn to switch back to Lady Heavenly again so he can get up at the crack of Dawn.
1:07:53 Sledge wants to rent Dawn done up as Lady as well, because Heavenly has stopped hammering him. Dawn truly is breaking and must be developing quite a complex by now.
1:10:08 At the hotel, Sledge incapacitates ‘Dawn as Lady’, and films her. When Ian storms the room, another Sledge strangles him from behind.
1:11:50 Ian comes to, framed for Dawn’s murder. The police are on their way. Ian is so framed, even he believes he did it.
1:13:17 While escaping the police, Ian stumbles across a trail of blood leading to Matanza’s/Ringmaster Jesus’s lair. Like Hansel if Gretel was on her period.
1:14:41 Ian finds a film reel with all of the boring truth about his innocence regarding Lady Heavenly’s original attack. He’s still guilty of whoring out a woman dressed as her, though, and then sleeping with said prostitute himself.
1:17:03 Sparks set up the projector in Lady’s hotel room and she watches her own attack. When Sledge comes back he finds the note Ian left for Lady Heavenly, telling her to meet him later at the lair.
1:18:05 When Heavenly arrives at the rendez-vous, she stabs Ian in the back, literally, because she’s really Ringmaster Jesus in morph. Who then morphs through all of his characters to let us know there were probably only three people in the whole film anyway.
1:19:04 The real Lady shows up and thinks Ian is himself, but you and I know it’s Whomever in morph. Regardless, she kisses him hard to show she forgives him for paying a prostitute to take her shape for sex and then selling that prostitute, still in Lady form, to other men as well. She’s very forgiving, a real Lady.
1:19:25 Fake Ian shoots real Lady Heavenly.
1:20:11 Back to the present and Sledge comes to kill Ian on the roof of the newspaper building just as Ian finishes telling his story to the journalist with the tape recorder.
1:21:01 While Ian is beating up Sledge and explaining the reveal I predicted hours ago (that Sledge is Ringmaster Jesus’s son and Dawn’s brother), Ringmaster Jesus comes and shoots Ian, who falls from the top of the building but still doesn’t die.
1:21:41 Ringmaster Jesus tells Sledge he killed Heavenly, so Sledge is irate. They fight but only after Jesus morphs into Sledge, so it’s Sledge on Sledge. Ringmaster Jesus Sledge kills his son, real Sledge.
1:23:39 Sparks had dynamite strapped to his back, so when Ringmaster Jesus came for him, Sparks lights himself up, and takes Jesus with him. Easter will come late this year.
1:24:19 The journalist writes out the denouement. Ian’s ring on a chain around her neck saved Lady Heavenly’s life. Matanza was Ringmaster Jesus. Sledge was Ringmaster Jesus’s son and they framed Ian Sparks. Ian cannot die because he was covered in Red G.
1:26:41 In Mumbai, India, Driver is biting off the crooked mentor police officer’s fingers and spitting them in a bucket.
1:27:34 Ian shows up and Driver says every time he kills the crooked cop, the cop takes longer to come back to life. Because crooked cop was also doused with Red G at the scene of the accident. Like swimming in Red Bull.
1:28:42 Ian tells the story that Da Vinci found a holy man loved by the entire village to be a model for Jesus while painting The Last Supper, then months later finally found a child murderer to model for Judas. As Da Vinci finished Judas, the model murderer asked, “Don’t you remember me? I was also your model for Jesus.” [Because this is the kind of nonsense people Google.]
1:31:12 Lady Heavenly is back on the job and heading to a break-in that will no doubt be Ian returned from India and hoping Lady will investigate so she can be broken-in again.
1:32:05 Didn’t take long for me to be right. Roll credits.
- WTF!?’s: Only 1 glaring WTF!?
- When to Follow: When you want to watch a good version of The Spirit
- What To Feedback: Did you find my change to the poster, at the top of this post? If so, tell us in the comments!