Oh dear. Spawn certainly falls short of everything that made the comic such a big hit. The action sequences are good, yes, but who cares? It's all show and no substance. More could have been done to: show the effect Spawn has on those around him; show his inner conflict, the 'whatever he does is bad' theme present in the comics; make Cogliostro less an interfering Yoda-figure and more of a mentor, the only one who gives a rat's ass about Spawn; make Malebolgia more convincing, and fix the Hell scenes; cut out the random elements which spoil it, such as the Clown's face on the spade, the way the Violator turns into a bookshelf and back again, the way Spawn's cape never seems to know whether it's coming or going.
It was a good idea, the opening sequence is fantastic. The hell vortex? Then the example of Simmons in action? Excellent. You know he's a good guy straight away. But a crap script, horrendous miscasting of Leguizamo as Clown, and a dumbing down of the major themes turned this potential blockbuster into a B-movie nightmare.