Sin City
Starring:
Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke
Directed By:
Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Grade
A

This is all you need to know: Comic book to film translations don't come any more accurate than Sin City. Robert Rodriguez, who gave Sin City's creator billing as co-director, has gone to great lengths to recreate the original film noirish graphic novels up on the silver screen. Based on the tales from multiple storylines in the Sin City series, the movie follows three main characters who have to take certain events into their own hands to deliver a bit of Sin City-style justice.

While there is no main story arc, the three main tales do share some moments with each other and paint a larger picture of the city as a whole. After a minor prologue, were are given the first part of Hardigan's story - Bruce Willis plays a old cop who hunts down the son of a senator who likes to torture and kill little girls. After Hardigan's first chapter is resolved, Marv's chapter opens up. Marv (Rourke) is a down-on-your-luck drunken brute who wakes up framed for the murder of a hooker he spent the night with. Instead of resigning to his fate, he goes on a brutal hunt for the murderer, beating up or killing everyone in his path. The third part tells the story of Dwight, a less than reputable man who goes to track down his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend (Del Toro), only to watch him get killed by the lawless hookers. When they discover the ex-boyfriend is a cop, Dwight has to get rid of the body before the truce between the hookers and the police comes to a violent end. To bring the movie to an end is the last part of Hardigan's tale, which shows the resolution of events that occurred in the first part.

When it comes to performances, the massive cast is not short on fine deliveries. While the script does have it's share of clichéd lines, they fit all too well in the style of hard-boiled story that's being told. While the Who's Who of cast gives all sorts of great scenes, none prove to be better than Mickey Rourke as the drunken, belligerent Marv, who is so hopped up on revenge and psyche pills that he even begins to doubt himself before his revenge is complete. His story is such a joy to behold that even his confrontation with the eerie cannibal (Elijah Wood) is art in motion.

Of course, one can not discuss this film without commenting on the visual style that Rodriguez has used to stay as faithful to the comics as possible. The Sin City series has always been stark black and white with the rare splash of color thrown in for good measure and Rodriguez understands that. His shots are highly stylized and framed excellently. The black and white is so crisp and detailed that one might actually suffer from information overload. There are single shots of Marv's face that are gorgeous to behold. In the few instances that color does show, it stands out, giving importance to what needs to be highlighted.

One of the more important side effects of this artistic decision is that is makes the rampant violence seem more surreal. If this much blood had been spilled in full color, movie goers would have likely lost their proverbial lunches. There is a sadistic amount of violence in Sin City, so much so that even the good guys have no problem with torture and castration.

Sin City may just prove to be one of those films that's so dense in content that some viewers just can't take it all in, like a meal that's made everyone full, yet keeps delivering more courses. There is little to no fat in the story and events progress in a steady pace that leaves slackers behind. Luckily, none of the characters and dialogue is so overwrought that you'll need a few minutes to digest it before moving on.

If you are a fan of Frank Miller's work or comics in general, you must see this. It's quite possibly the most faithful conversion you're likely to ever see. Though, if you're weak stomached, come on an empty stomach as even the disassociated violence is rich and omnipresent.

- - Kinderfeld

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