Wow. Another comic book . . . err, I mean graphic novel to movie adaptation. Which one am I talking about now? Sin City of course. An obscure graphic novel by the man who single-handedly made Batman cool again — Frank Miller. Although, most of the latest comics to movies have sucked ass (see “Elektra,” “Daredevil”), I was looking forward to this movie, since I knew Mr. Miller produced gritty, balls-to-the-wall, in your face stories.
I was not disappointed. Sin City delivers. This movie is not for the faint of heart. It is rough. It is gruesome. It will make some peoples assholes clamp up. My kind of movie. I’m sure Frank Miller was happy to see his art faithfully recreated on screen.
One first notices the cinematography. Artsy. All black and white with splashes of color. A woman’s piercing blue eyes. Cherry red lipstick on a dying woman’s pouting lips. All used for dramatic effect. And used quite effectively. I was intrigued. I especially liked the way blood was portrayed. No color here. Instead, it’s bright white — almost fluorescent.
Which leads us right to the next attribute of the movie. It is violent. Did I mention it is violent? There isn’t a moment in this movie that doesn’t have someone getting shot, stabbed or beaten the shit out of. This is one hell of a city! No need to remind me to not bring the kids there for a visit . . . I won’t forget. But the good thing about the anger and violence, it isn’t gratuitous. The director didn’t just add it for the hell of it. The cruelty shown on screen, has to be shown. It is the only way to actually tell the story of these individuals.
Which leads us to another well thought out part of the movie. The casting. I don’t think better actors could have been cast in this movie. Mickey Rourke (whom I didn’t even recognize) plays a superb Marv. Benicio Del Toro is great as Jackie Boy. Even Jessica Alba (who I don’t particularly like) portrays Nancy Callahan well. All around the characters (bit to lead) are engrossing.
Best of all is the storytelling. Sin City opens temporary portals into the lives of each of the individuals within the city limits. Each person, whether they know it or not somehow influences the actions of the other people. Most alluring is the fragmented way the movie is served up. Scenes are not necessarily in order. Very similar to “Pulp Fiction” (no surprise Quentin Tarantino was involved). This forces us, the movie-goer, to think. Piece things together. What may not make sense 15 minutes into the movie, will makes sense one hour into it. Ultimately, several passes at the movie are needed for one to catch all of the foreshadowing and nuances. Luckily, for those of us who aren’t schmucks, you can follow 90% of them if you just pay attention.
There is no doubt this movie is entertaining. Even if you don’t like violent, in your face types of movies, I think you’ll enjoy Sin City.