Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez
- Mickey Rourke as Marv
- Bruce Willis as Haritgan
- Clive Owen as Dwight McCarthy
- Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan
- Benicio Del Toro as Jackie Boy
- Rosario Dawson as Gail
- Brittany Murphy as Shellie
- Devon Aoki as Miho
- Elijah Wood as Kevin
- Jaime King as Goldie/Wendy
- Alexis Bledel as Becky
- Nick Stahl as Roark Junior
- Powers Boothe as Senator Roark
- Michael Clarke Duncan as Manute
- Rutger Hauer as Cardinal Roark
- Josh Hartnett as The Salesman
- Marley Shelton as The Customer
Visually outstanding, brutally realized and violently compelling, Sin City is one hell of a ride. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, from whom the source of graphic novels is based, it may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely a film that is hard to get out of your mind.
Sin City comprises of three stories that intertwine on occasion. The setting is Basin City, a dirty, corrupt and downright nasty city of violence, sex and all things bad. One tale concerns honest cop Hartigan, who is ageing and has developed a heart condition but still trying to carry on with his latest case. He manages to save a young girl by the name of Nancy Callahan from serial rapist and child molester Roark Junior, who is also the son of the corrupt Senator of the city. In a cruel twist of fate orchestrated by the Senator, Hartigan is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and spends time in jail. Upon release, he manages to track Nancy down, she has now grown up into a gorgeous young woman who works as an exotic dancer in a saloon. Roark Junior is actually still alive and comes after them and it is up to Hartigan to stop him before it is too late. The middle tale tells of Marv, a lonely man mountain who is slowly slipping into madness. One night, he has a passionate encounter with a hooker named Goldie. Marv falls deeply in love with the girl, but unfortunately for him she is murdered while he sleeps. Heartbroken and filled with vengeance, he hacks his way through those in his way to track down the perpetrator; a psychopathic man named Kevin, who slaughters and then eats what remains of prostitutes. In the last of these overlapping vignettes, Dwight McCarthy protects his brutalized clandestine lover Shellie from her abusive partner Jackie Boy. Following the sadistic Jackie to Old Town, the red-light district, Dwight prowls in the shadows in an attempt to keep the girls safe. Not that they need to be protected, as they are led by the fierce Gail and have an arsenal of weapons at their disposal. When violence erupts, chaos emerges and bullets fly as the girls fight back against the corrupt powers that be.
Sin City immediately grabs you from its opening frames because of the stylish way in which it is shot. By combing the noir of black and white and the accentuation of certain colours, we are transported into this walking and breathing comic book story come to life. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller bring so much to the table, skilfully immersing us in this world of violence, broads and deception. It’s like being in a hard-boiled pulp story, and these two really keep you riveted with their assured sense of direction and respect for the material. The structure of Sin City is also a highlight, with the characters slinking their way in and out of the stories at various occasions. Sin City is most certainly not for everyone’s taste, mainly because of the often gruesome and violent content. But for those with a strong stomach, it is well worth a watch. A rip-roaring soundtrack of jazzy riffs and driving guitar rhythms brings more life to the tales of graphic slaying, seductive atmosphere and shadowy dealings.
An accomplished cast fleshes out this cavalcade of tough guys and seductive vixens. Mickey Rourke brings swaggering violence and inconsolable rage to the role of the wronged Marv, who is on a revenge mission even if it kills him. Yet he also brings to the forefront of the tough guy the lonely and severed heart of a man who has the thing he cared about snatched away from him. Bruce Willis is excellent as the emotionally abandoned and ageing Hartigan, whose sole purpose for living is to protect Nancy, who he sees as a daughter. Clive Owen is at his best as the protective but very dangerous Dwight, imbuing the part with grave humour and macho virility. While Jessica Alba is often quite wooden in terms of her acting, she does manage to give the part of Nancy a sense of vulnerability and scorching sex appeal. Benicio Del Toro is skulking menace personified as Jackie Boy, while Rosario Dawson is smoking hot as the tooled-up Gail, who isn’t going to go down without a fight. Brittany Murphy gives sympathy to the role of Shellie and Devon Aoki is a scowling presence as Miho, a mute prostitute who is more than adept with a Samurai sword. Elijah Wood is surprisingly chilling as the light-footed and sadistic serial killer with a taste for blood. Jaime King essays the roles of the ill-fated Goldie and her twin sister Wendy, while Alexis Bledel is suitably naive as Becky, one of the younger prostitutes of Old Town. Nick Stahl is sinister and twisted as Roark Junior, along with a slimy turn from Powers Boothe as his well-connected father. Michael Clarke Duncan is imposing and vicious as a mob enforcer, and Rutger Hauer makes an impression as a member of the Roark family. Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton give mystery and smoky elegance to the enigmatic opening to the film.
Violent, stylish and unforgettable, Sin City is a film that will definitely leave you awestruck.