Fed up with Hollywood butchering his screenplays for the Robocop sequels, comic book writer, Frank Miller, (Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, 300) refuses to let Hollywood producers adapt his work, until director/writer/producer/editor/composer, Robert Rodriguez, (Mexico Trilogy, From Dusk Till Dawn, Machete) offered him a partnership on directing a faithful adaptation to “Sin City.” Robert took Frank to Austin, Texas at a test shooting for the film, Frank approved on Robert’s vision and they both began on the project.
Sin City was released in 2005. (the exact same year Batman Begins and that epic clunker Sharkboy & Lavagirl, came out) It received positive reviews from critics/movie goers alike, plus it managed to make a profit at the box office. A sequel called “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” was released in 2014.
Now that Robert Rodriguez is currently working on a live action adaptation of Battle Angel Alita, with fellow director, James Cameron, I want to show you my real thoughts on what’s good or bad about Robert’s Magnum Opus.
The following article doesn’t contain potential SPOILERS. It means you’re allowed to read this review, just so you know if you never got a chance to see it. Is it one of Robert’s best films? Let’s find out shall we?
Marvelous & Messy Qualities
Marvelous: Each established actor plays a protagonist in their own storyline including Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Clive Owen as Marv, Hartigan, and Dwight. All three of them, did an excellent job for respective performances.
Each actor plays a specific antagonist in each storyline such as Elijah Wood, Michael Clarke Duncan, & Nick Sthal. All of them did a fantastic job for their performances. Powers Boothe’s character, Senator Roark, is the actual baddie of the film and comics.
Other Cast Members consisting of Rosario Dawson, (one of my celeb crushes) Benicio Del Toro, Michael Madsen, Carla Gugino, and the late Brittany Murphy, all did a good job for their respective performances.
Similar to Pulp Fiction, the movie is told in segments with a non-linear narrative or in this case, an out of order narrative.
Action Sequences are filled with high octane dismemberment, bullets, combat and explosions, blended in one ultra violent package.
The Tone captures the mood of a dark sardonic atmosphere involving the titular city’s sinister side based on police corruption.
Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller both did a B.A. (look it up on the Urban Dictionary) job on directing the picture alongside Robert’s close friend, Quentin Tarantino. (Quentin is credited as a “Guest Director.”) They later went on to develop Grindhouse.
Like Sharkboy & Lavagirl, Sin City was shot in front of a Green Screen/Digital Backlot. I have to admit, seeing the world coming to life in front of a Green Screen, felt like I was watching a comic book movie. I have to give Robert a truckload of Bonus Points for making this movie believable as possible and challenging himself to rely on digital filmmaking.
Sin City was also filmed in Austin, Texas. I’m gonna give this movie an Extra Point, because I’m also a Texan myself. Robert is also a fellow Texan too.
The film remains faithful to the source material, for example, it was shot in Black & White, while color plays a significant part on a certain Plot Element.
Frank Miller himself, makes a cameo appearance as a priest. Robert Rodriguez also has a cameo appearance as a member of a SWAT team.
The Opening Credits contains actual drawings from Frank Miller’s graphic novels.
Cinematography looks very descent. Many shots are recreations of panels from the comics.
One girl is dressed like Zorro. Robert’s collaborator, Antonio Banderas, worked on a sequel to The Mask Of Zorro, called, The Legend Of Zorro, which also came out in 2005.
In my opinion, The Best Line in this film is, “Aim careful, and look the devil in the eye.” I want that quote to be updated in “AFI’s Best Movie Quotes.”
One character said “Die Hartigan.” It’s a play on word to Die Hard. The film that catapulted Bruce as an Action Hero.
Messy: Jessica Alba’s performance as Nancy, felt stale like like a bag of expired bread. She definitely needs to take a bunch of acting lessons, because her acting ability is like an elephant suffering from explosive diarrhea! If I were the director, I woulda casted Michelle Rodriguez as Nancy, because she’s talented and sexy at the same time!
The Final Verdict: A-
Despite my main gripe on Jessica’s acting ability, my honest opinion about Sin City, is in fact a cinematic achievement filled with fascinating characters, interesting non-linear storylines, and of course, over-the-top bloody action sequences. I highly recommend this picture if you’re a fan of comic book adaptations like me. If it weren’t for Sin City, 300 would’ve never existed in the first place! I hope one day Robert returns to his roots that doesn’t involve silly family oriented movies with fake looking C.G.I. which nearly damaged his career.