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Friday, February 2, 2007

Sin City

For those of you that are fans of the Frank Miller graphic novels you are in for a treat as this the most faithful translation of a comic to screen that has ever been done, and for those people who haven’t read the original Millar stories get ready for movie that grabs by the lapels and drags you kicking and screaming into a world of sex and violence and style.

Robert Rodriquez and Frank Millar have created a modern day film noir classic. Their use of black and white with the rare infusion of colour is simply gorgeous to behold. And I’m sure guest director Quentin Tarantino had a ball playing around in this world. The movie contains four stories from the Frank Millar graphic novel; Sin City, which was the first book and featured the Frankenstein like anti-hero Marv played beautifully by Mickey Rourke, That Yellow Bastard which stars Bruce Willis a one of the few good cops in Sin City, Clive Owen plays the killer with a new face in The Big Fat Kill, and Josh Hartnet brackets the movie with a bit I believe is from The Babe Wore Red.

For those who haven’t read the book I’ll give you a quick breakdown in the three main stories.

Hartigan (Bruce Willis) is an honest cop in a city full of corruption, and it’s his last day before he’s forced to retire due to heart condition. He could just take it easy but there’s a little girl out there that needs his help, a pedophilic murderer has her and time is running out. Hartigan’s partner (Michael Madsen) wants him to just hang back and wait for back up as the rapist (Nick Stahl) is the son of Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) a very powerful man, and it’s best to let things go. All I’ll say is he doesn’t. The second story revolves around Marv (Mickey Roarke) who spends the night with a woman named Goldie (Jamie King) who takes him to heaven and back, but when he wakes up from his drunken stupor she’s dead and the police are closing in. Realizing he’s been set up he literal burst into action and the carnage that ensues on his quest to avenge her death is awe-inspiring. The third story is about Dwight (Clive Owen) a murderer that had his faced change to keep out of the gas chamber. He’s hooked up with Shelly (Brittany Murpy) a girl with a past who has problems with her ex-boyfriend Jack Rafferty (Bencicio Del Toro) who likes to smack women around. Dwight falls right into the roll of Lancelot and chases Rafferty and his pals into Old Town (The area of Sin City ruled by the prostitutes) where they run into trouble with the girls, and it’s all Dwight can do to prevent a war from breaking out.

Now the women of Sin City are something to behold; there’s Jessica Alba as Nancy the stripper with the heart of gold, Rosario Dawson as the tough as nails dominatrix Gail who holds Old Town together. Devon Aoki as the silent but deadly Miho a ninja who helps Gail keep the girls safe, Carla Gugino plays Lucille a lesbian parole officer who supplies meds to poor confused Marv, Jamie King as Goldie the woman Marv vows to avenge, Alexis Bledel is working girl Becky (This is quite the departure from her Gilmour Girl role), and Brittany Murphy as Shelly a woman trying to get out from under a real nasty ex-boyfriend. And those are just the highlights as the city is just overflowing with gorgeous women.

The film plays with time, much in the way that Pulp Fiction did, the stories overlap, as you’ll see one character in the background that we saw dead in an early story, and this is much in keeping with the books in that aspect. The film is very Rated R and the violence is extreme, and I believe the only reason it won’t get an NC-17 is that much of the gore is in black and white. So those of faint heart beware as it’s a pretty intense film, but it’s one hell of a ride.

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