Home / Movie Review: Sin City

Movie Review: Sin City

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Robert Rodriguez's masterpiece Sin City is a stylized montage of violence mixed with art and sex appeal in possibly the greatest action film of the 21st century. Based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller, this is truly a film that anyone who can appreciate true art will enjoy.

The film follows three stories, that of police officer Hartigan (Bruce Willis), ex-con in pursuit of revenge Marv (Mickey Rourke), and murderer with a new face Dwight (Clive Owen). Although the stories never intersect, the characters involved are present in all three as well as secondary characters important to the story lines.

Hartigan is an honest cop in a force filled with corruption. After saving eleven-year-old Nancy Callahan from Senator Roark's child molester son Junior, he is shot in the back by his partner (Michael Madsen) and set up by the Senator to take the fall for his son in the rape of young Nancy.

Marv is a mean-looking thug who has just had the night of his life with a beautiful girl named Goldie (Jamie King). During the sleep after the copulation someone sneaked into the room and killed Goldie. It's obvious that this murder was a frame job, as the police are arriving before anyone could know that Goldie has been killed. There's a great fight scene where Marv takes out multiple cops, and he starts on his voyage of revenge to find Goldie's killer.

Dwight is a wanted killer who has returned to Basin City with a new face to resume his life. When his new girlfriend's (Brittany Murphy) ex-lover Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro) comes by with his crew and roughs her up, Dwight decides to follow them through town to make sure that they don't kill any innocent women. He follows them into Old Town, which is run by the hookers. The girls have already got their eye on Jackie Boy and his friends, and when he pulls a gun out on one of them they let them have it. Unfortunately Jackie Boy is a cop, and if it is found out by the police that a cop has been killed in Old Town the truce between the girls and the police will be nullified and Old Town will be left open to be taken over by the pimps and the mob.

Sin City is really a masterpiece of modern filmmaking. The usage of very few colors on a mostly black and white screen is almost like watching a painting in motion. The way the black and white and colors are used also brings the ultra violence and gore down to a very subdued level. What would normally be almost unwatchable due to its extremity is brought down to a very watchable level where even people who loathe violence in films are able to handle it.

It takes a few minutes to get used to the way Sin City is written and acted. For the first ten minutes or so I always catch myself thinking that the acting is very poor and the script badly written; however, once you get used to it, it works very well. The stiffness of some of the performances and the novel-like way in which the script is written really ends up working in favor of the film. It goes along so well with the colors (or lack thereof) and the direction that it adds to the style of the film.

The cast of Sin City is really incredible. It is just packed with big names and A-listers; from Jessica Alba to Elijah Wood, Alexis Bledel to Josh Hartnett, and Rosario Dawson to Rutger Hauer. While not all of their performances are stunning, it's not great performances that make this movie what it is. It is the art direction by Steve Joyner and Jeanette Scott, and the direction and editing by Robert Rodriguez that make this film so great. Sin City is really the film that established Rodriguez as a great director, and I personally can't wait for the sequels to come out.

Grade: A

Powered by

About Moderns & Classics

  • Rodriguez co-directed this with Miller and considering they took so much from the graphic novels, like shooting a good portion of the film on green screen sets and inserting the artwork straight from the comics, he is part of why this film is so great.

  • Rodriguez co-directed this with Miller and considering they took so much from the graphic novels, like shooting a good portion of the film on green screen sets and inserting the artwork straight from the comics, he is part of why this film is so great.

  • Brian

    While Miller was in fact on set and is credited as co-director he did no actually co-direct the film. Rodriguez insisted that he be given a co-director credit because he based the visual style of the film so heavily on the graphic novels, but the DGA would not allow it since he did not actually co-direct so Rodriguez resigned from the DGA. While I know that Miller had a lot of input in how the film was made, he did not actually co-direct as is credited.

  • I have no idea where you are getting your information from, but it doesn’t jive with the reports at the time.

    “he did no actually co-direct the film.”

    Well that’s differs from what Robert Rodriguez said. “I also wanted him involved in every aspect of the production, including sharing in the directing.”

    Also in an interview at AICN, he specifically mentions Miller giving the actors direction. I trust his version of the events.

    “the DGA would not allow [the credit] since he did not actually co-direct”

    You’ve got the order wrong, which makes me question the source that informed your comment. Robert tried to get a waiver before the film was made not after, and was declined because they weren’t a directing team. You can read about it at Slate.

    I see you have a passion for film, but you do yourself a disservice by not doing a little research to inform your writing.

  • Brian

    Ok well it seems that I may have been misinformed, I stand corrected.