"Sin City" is a stripped-down, souped up, adrenaline stoked thrill
ride driven by a crazed conductor with the lunatic inventor cackling
from the shotgun seat. It is a drug-induced fever dream with the
tension, drama, lust, love, blood and guts ratcheted up so far that
the movie becomes the cinematic equivalent of Bette Davis' famous
quote from "All About Eve,": "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be
a bumpy night!"
Book-ended by Bruce Willis' selfless sacrifice to save the virtue of
an 11 year-old girl (and his doing it once again with feeling eight
years later when that 11 year-old has grown into chap-wearing,
lasso-twirling Jessica Alba), "Sin City" bumps and grinds its way into
a not so gentle fright.
In between there is a searing love story featuring Mickey Rourke as a
relentless hulk of an avenging angel - an angel who must have fallen
face first from heaven. Broken-faced and broken-hearted, Rourke's
brutal, bloody pursuit of the man who killed his blond angel, Jaime
King, is the sweet spot of the movie. Carla Gugino as Rourke's
lesbian parole officer is a sho-nuff, hot-bodied, harlot-angel in her
Beniticio Del Torro does a wicked, greasy turn as a rogue cop who
decides to take a drive on the wild side and loses his head in his
Clive Owen is hard-boiled and Rosario Dawson is delicious as a bad
girl in a bad world.
Working from Frank Miller's "script," seems to sharpen Rodrigues'
narrative sloth while giving full reign to Miller's creative excesses.
"Sin" is a gorgeous panache of windswept overcoats, careening vintage
automobiles and sumptuous red-lipped babes, and the dialogue is
elegant in a smashed mouth, split-lipped, broken-toothed, hard-boiled
If there is a bigger cesspool than Basin City, "the city without
pity," I don't wanna see it. "Sin City" is a such a Grand Guignol of
a movie, with its freak show villains (Elijah Wood's nerdy
flesh-eating sexual predator and Nick Stahl's grotesque pedophile)
seriously flawed heros (Willis, Rourke and Owen) it is sobering to
realize that this is a watered down version of Frank Miller's self
described "big fat comic books." But even as Frank Miller lite, "Sin
City" is the closest approximation of the raw naked power of big fat
comic books ever to reach the screen.
Copyright © 2005 Kelwyn Wright
The Black Prince. The Black Church. A State of Mind.