© Buena Vista International (Germany) GmbH

Sin City
U.S.A. 2005

Opening 11 Aug 2005

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Writing credits: Frank Miller
Principal actors: Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke

Stories from three “graphic novels” (why not just say “comics” or even “mangas”) by Frank Miller (Sin City, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard) are interwoven. Sometimes I lost the thread, but no matter; the subject matter is interchangeable: revenge, escape, fast cars, sultry women, men quick with the fists or the trigger and someone always “looking for Goldie.” Texts were, “Bastard you’re going to pay for what you did,” or “Kill ‘em for me.” The soundtrack featured Grrrr, Wam and Pow. Contrary to recently filmed comics such as Batman or Lucky Luke, Sin City actually looks like a comic while still featuring a big cast of real actors like Bruce Willis and Benicio del Toro (my favorites), Mickey Rourke and Elijah Wood (both made up to be unrecognizable), as well as Josh Hartnett, Brittany Murphy and Jessica Alba, etc. In black and white, it is always dark or raining with rare splashes of color such as red (blood) or yellow (hair). These are the comics that you hid from your parents: full of exaggerated violence of slit throats, severed limbs, torture, psychopaths and disembowelment. Real comic fans will love the film as the underdogs in Basin City move through the tar pits, sewers, night clubs, back alleys, and cheap hotels. Real Miller fans will recognize clues such as the logo of Kadie’s Bar, a picture on a matchbook, Chango beer, white blood, or specific license plate numbers. Real film fans will appreciate young Texan director Robert Rodriquez for making something unique which showed at the Cannes film festival this year. Miller, Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino have cameo appearances. The 124 minutes should have been divided into six 20-minute short films because the repetition was tiring in the long haul. Sadly there is no commercial audience for short films. This is highly recommended for comic or film freaks. Everyone else will not appreciate the art and can check out Desperate Housewives instead. (Becky Tan)

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