I just rewatched The Spirit not too long ago and for all it's goofy meandering, it's look was clearly borrowed from this movie and Frank Miller a noted comic legend who lately has had more misses then hits in his written works-was a part of BOTH movies. Taking another look at this film reminded me how odd and frankly great the film was.
The plot has a running theme of corruption and sinful people in all three of it's stories. The first is about a hard headed street fighter whoe's night with a hooker has the cops knocking on his door the next morning when she is dead in his bed. Marv didn't kill her and knows he's been set up and is on a quest to find the real killer.
Second is Dwight, a mirthless tough guy whoe's barmaid girlfriend has been roughed up by a scumbag and his friends. After threatening the creep, Dwight hits the road to follow the scumbag who head right into the red light district of town, where the hookers act as enforcers.
The final story has a cop wrongly convicted to prison when he's been railroaded for child rape. The "victim" knows he's innocent, but the attempted rapist is a politicians son so people hush up and the cop sits for years for a crime he never committed. The cop signs a confession and gets out to protect the girl who grew up to be a stripper when he learns that that rapist still has his eye on her.
All the players, including Jessica Alba whose known for her razztastic performances, play they're parts from well to great, especially Mickey Roarke as Marv. You might also notice that all the men are down and out, tough guys or scum bags. The women are all strippers or hookers. Sin City indeed. Bruce Willis and Clive Owen are great as Hartigan and Dwight respectfully and Carla Gugino and Rosario Dawson are sexy/cool. Gugino by the way is a parole officer, and NOT a stripper or hooker, however she IS naked so that takes the shame off of having a "respectable" job in this movie.
* By the way, just as an editorial, while I'm on the naked thing-this movie used the literal comic books as storyboards for the movie and Alba's character Nancy the stripper is naked in the books. Alba reportedly flat out refused to be naked (a naked stripper?!? GET OUT!!!) and they let it slide since it ultimately wasn't important to the movie. I'm not so much upset that we don't get to see Alba in the buff but that they made a compromise cause they cast an A list actress who looks good rather then find an actress who WOULD do the role in the nude the way it was supposed to be. Frank Miller's reluctance to do this movie was the way other Hollywood related works of his got butchered by others and here he is working with the director and getting the information that they made a small sacrifice over something that could have been avoided. Imagine if they got Anne Hathaway or a willing actress to be nude AND get a better performance on top of that. Just say'in.
I was highly entertained. Even as the adrenaline of the middle one died down and the movie played out I was still compelled to watch to see what happened. No matter how silly things were in the movie, like with this yellow guy with a mechanical wang in the final act.
I wasn't familiar with the original Frank Miller books but from what I'm told they kept it as close as possible to the books with few altercations for movie adaption. With this knowledge and my enjoyment of the movie, I'd say that they did a good job.
This movies trailer didn't shout out loud it's three weird tales, but it had NO problem telling us the big list of names that are in the movie or that it's a comic book film from comic scribe Frank Miller who anyone who knows comics is a big name.
The movie has been out for about 5 years as of this writing so it is pretty known for a major studio release with a big name ensemble cast.
This movie gets a + 4. It isn't boring, it's shot well and cast pretty good. Bruce Willis's story is slow to start but it gets better but there is an underlying current of something sinister always brewing under the surface. Maybe thats the point. The movie isn't just fist fights and shooting, theres beheadings, blood and other pieces of business that make this movie not for the squeamish. Especially when it comes to Elijah Wood's character's scenes. He's an evil Harry Potter look alike whos fast, has claws and a taste for flesh.
A fun game I played during this movie that also put my own taste for movies and style spotting was trying to figure out which scene Quentin Tarantino directed, since he directs a scene in the movie. I had about 6 guesses and after the movie I looked up the answer and 1 of them was right. See if you can figure out which scene it is before looking up the answer.
Recommending this movie is easy. Find a comic book fan who wants a movie to be as close to it's source material as possible. Sin City is pretty close from what i've read and asked from it's fans. Action fans and comic book fans would be pleased.
Sin City is fun but like I said has a nastyness about it. Soem fans didn't like the stories told and would have rather seen others instead but since the movie was popular enough, a second movie is in the works reportedly. Hopefully they keep the cool attitude and the good casting.*
What did you think of this review?