Frank Miller’s SIN CITY
Sin City is based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Artist Frank Miller. Miller is most famous for Sin City but has done other stories like The Dark Knight Returns, 300 and Hard Boiled (unrelated to the John Woo film). I saw the movie before I had ever read any of the books. Now I have actually read a couple and they are good. I really like the visual style and the narrative is always interesting.
Robert Rodriguez is the man behind the movie and is my second favorite director of all time. He gives it his trademark style, but keeps it feeling like Sin City and not “The Robert Rodriguez version of Sin City”. The visual style is great and stays faithful to the books and almost all of the dialogue is quoted word for word from the books as well. It’s impressive how true to the source material this movie is. I think it might be one of the best screen translations of a book ever. It works so well because Rodriguez is such a big fan of Miller’s work. Quentin Tarantino directed one scene as a special guest. The main reason is because Rodriguez wanted to show him how to shoot digitally.
The movie is done in more than one style and is mostly black and white, but highly stylized. Important colors show through like red for blood, or a car, or sky and eye colors. Blood shows up as red but also pure white. The visuals alone are enough reason to watch the movie, it looks that good.
Aside from just looking incredible, Sin City is a damn good movie. It’s an anthology, which means it is a collection of stories. There are three main stories, with one much smaller side story. The smaller ones open and close the film. The first is with Detective Hartigan played by Bruce Willis, then it goes to Mickey Rourke playing Marv and is followed by The Big Fat Kill, where Clive Owen plays Dwight.
All of the characters are pure awesome. The three main protagonists Willis, Rourke, and Owen are all great, but my favorite is Rourke’s character Marv, he is just so cool. He gets put on the electric chair and when they start to read him his last rites he says “Can we hurry this up? I haven’t got all night.” Then they electrocute him, but he doesn’t die, they have to shock him twice! If that isn’t cool then I don’t know what is.
The movie is not realistic at all. The action is exaggerated but still doesn’t feel too over the top. The characters also have heightened powers and can send people flying across a room with one smack. If you’ve ever seen the Jet Li movie The One that’s an example of how not to do exaggerated action, Sin City is an example of how to do it.
Out of all the great antagonists my favorite is Kevin played by Elijah Wood. He isn’t really a main antagonist more of a side one, but the character is just so interesting and you want to know more about him. I really hope his character is in Sin City 2 and it’s a prequel so he might be. Kevin is completely silent, but he says so much with his unfazed face. He always has this evil smile, even after his arms and legs have been cut off and his pet wolf is eating his stomach. Rodriguez actually digitally elongated Elijah’s chin in his first shot so he would be less recognizable.
Sin City is one of my favorite films and I highly recommend it!