The most literal translation of a graphic novel (dont call it a comic book Ive learned that lesson the hard way) to film yet, Sin City doesnt settle for just using Frank Millers stories The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard as jumping off points. Instead, filmmaker/digital devotee Rodriguez chose to shoot the movie sticking to the graphic novels as close as cinematically possible, even going as far as using Millers dialogue in the film. The result is not so much simply a movie as it is a whole new film-going experience. Rodriguez combined his love of film noir with the desire to bring Sin City to the screen and created, along with co-director/"Sin City" guru Frank Miller, an ultra-violent explosion of blood, guts, and gore thats so highly stylized, the shock value is somewhat lessened while the film remains true to the dark world of Millers Sin City.
The world inhabited by the citizens of Basin City (Sin City, for short) is one of cruelty and depravity, and yet also one of friendship, love, and loyalty. Most cops cant be trusted and vigilante justice is the order of the day. The women arent afraid to bloody their hands or to walk around in nothing or next to nothing. They get slapped around (which is bound to generate complaints), but they also give as good as they get. Its the grimy, grungy, seedy side of life and its not pretty. Its not supposed to be. It is Frank Millers fictional world of Sin City brought to life straight from the pages of his graphic novels.
Converted to black and white with only a few splashes of color red lipstick here, red satin sheets there, and of course Yellow Bastard is yellow - Rodriguez transports you to another place and time by crafting a dark, bleak, world filled with shadows and menacing landscapes. And if the tone and texture of the film doesnt immediately enthrall you, the actors who bring Millers characters to life will.
The main male stars of Sin City are Mickey Rourke (in his best performance in easily a decade) as Marv in 'The Hard Goodbye,' a massive thug with a scarred, chiseled face no woman could love without being paid to; the Man Who Should Be Bond (otherwise known as Clive Owen) as Dwight, a murderer on the run in The Big Fat Kill; and a screen chewing Bruce Willis playing Bruce Willis...I mean Hartigan, a hard-nosed, honest cop on the verge of retirement in That Yellow Bastard. The women motivating the men to do what they do are blonde beauty Jaime King (Goldie/Wendy), S&M pin-up Rosario Dawson (Gail), and the very sexy Jessica Alba (Nancy).
Equally compelling in supporting roles are Benicio Del Toro as Jackie Boy, Brittany Murphy as Shellie, Nick Stahl as Yellow Bastard, Devon Aoki as Miho, Elijah Wood as Kevin and Alexis Bledel as Becky.
Sin City is definitely not a movie for everyone. If you check out the trailer and arent impressed, then its likely the movie will leave you feeling like youve wasted your time. Or worse, that youve just experienced two hours of non-stop violence that calls itself a movie (a quote I heard from one unimpressed audience member on the way out of the theater). The films unapologetically graphic and if youre not prepared, you may find it more offensive than entertaining.
Sin City is violent, surprisingly humorous, sexy, innovative, provocative, visually stunning, relentlessly entertaining, and a movie that delivers something even the most jaded of moviegoers havent seen before. Gorgeous and gory, a graphic film noir taken to the nth level, Sin City is not just for devotees of Frank Miller. Ive never read Sin City and it didnt affect my viewing pleasure one iota.
I was more than ready to sit through another screening of Sin City immediately after the movie ended. Even though I see hundreds of movies each year, this is one film I know Im going to find myself watching again and again and a movie I cant wait to own on DVD.
"Sin City" was directed by Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller and special guest director, Quentin Tarantino. "Sin City" is rated R for sustained strong stylized violence, nudity and sexual content including dialogue.