Sin City (18)

Written by Frank Miller, directed by Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez
On general release from 3rd June, 2005

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This larger than life fantasy is a superb adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels i.e. comic strips. As in his novels, there is endless violence, but it does not sicken the stomach - you know the blood and gore is totally unreal. I lost my way in the film sometimes - certain sequences don't link together but i suppose this may be deliberate given the source material, but the sheer scale and grandeur of the film is awesome.

It is mainly filmed in monochrome - for example, gun shot wounds show up as a glowing white - with shadows and silhouettes predominating. But there are often splashes of colour, for instance, richly coloured cars, blood, and the glistening lipstick worn by the ravishing looking prostitutes who populate Basin City (Sin City) and who want to retain control of the city against the attentions of the police, who are utterly corrupt. There is also an imaginative and effective use of the blacks and whites being reversed, as in looking at a photographic negative.

In a nutshell, the film tells three stories in parallel, but only one of the three main characters - veteran policeman John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), Marv (Mickey Rourke) and Dwight (Clive Owen) - appear in all three. Surprisingly good was Rourke, who I thought was a washed up actor. He plays an ugly monster of a man, who seeks revenge for the murder of his girl friend, prostitute Goldie (Jaime King), and in doing so is involved in a lot of ultra-violent scenes. Not far behind in the acting stakes and charisma was Willis, who rescues a sweet little eleven-year-old girl from a serial rapist.

Co-director Miller and Robert Rodriguez deserve praise for adapting such an ambitious project. This movie has lots of style.

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