Anthony's Film Review
Sin City (2005)
A unique film noir masterpiece bringing graphic novels to stunning life...
Sin City is not an adaptation of three of Frank Miller's graphic novels. Rather, it is an animated version of them, as if watching the movie is the equivalent of reading these graphic novels while imagining all the motions happening within and in between the visual panels. And of course, the look of the film is definitely not your ordinary color capture of actors on location. It is a mixture of live actors and special effects, making Basin City look like a real place and an imaginary place at the same time.
The film starts with a scene involving Josh Hartnett and a woman on a roof, shortly before she is killed with a silenced bullet. This is not a story that continues from there, but it merely serves as an introduction to a black-and-white film with colors sprinkled on certain objects. This is the presentation style of Miller's comics. Bringing it to the film is perhaps the wisest choice to make for Sin City. Nothing else could possibly make it better.
The film is a collection of three stories. The first involves Bruce Willis as Hartigan, a cop ready to retire but not satisfied that an 11-year-old girl is still in the hands of a child molester. This story is split into two parts so that the second and third story lines run in between. The second story is about Mickey Rourke as Marv, a tough and ruthless man who spends a night with Goldie only to find her dead when he wakes up and confused as to how it happened. The third features Clive Owen as Dwight, a man who hunts down his lover's ex-boyfriend, only to discover that he is a dirty cop and must cover it up quickly. Each of these three plot lines are ultraviolent stories of revenge and redemption. The three characters are determined to hunt down the wrongdoer and face much challenge along the way.
There is much influence from film noir, with its shady heroes and villains amidst the corruption and crime that inhabit Basin City. The narration voice-over for each of the main characters is sharp and brilliantly written. Besides the color within this colorless world, some scenes make use of silhouettes, both black on white and white on black for added effect. Watching the film is indeed like reading the comic book. I found myself immersed in this bleak setting and cared less about the actors and actresses in their roles.
Sin City was two hours at the movies that I consider a very unique experience. It is one of those films that does something dramatically different instead of making a film the old fashioned way. The performances by Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, and Clive Owen are top notch. I also like Rosario Dawson as the prostitute Gail, Elijah Wood as a cannibalistic killer, and Benicio del Toro somewhat unrecognizable as the dirty cop pursued by Owen. If there is one thing this movie proves, it's that a great film transcends the standards of film-making, not simply meeting them. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller did an outstanding job bringing this sinful city to life.
For more information about Sin City, visit the Internet Movie Database.