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:: Sin City

Sin City is a place of corruption and heartbreak, where beautiful girls become prostitutes and the last honest cop is an enemy of the state. Far below its comic book skyline, everyone’s got a story to tell. The only law in Sin City is revenge, and to look after your friends, even if that means killing someone, or killing a whole lot of people. In the dark mean streets, three very different men ruthlessly fight their own battle. Each of them is somebody’s hero.

Frank Miller’s comic novel, Sin City, became an instant cult classic when it hit the shelves in 1991. Its characters hark back to an era when tough guys played it cool and dames were sexy, curvy and dangerous, while its artwork is classic 1940s style. Its hard-edged plots push modern boundaries and the dialogue jumps out of speech bubbles like a punch in the nose. In this film, Miller and co-director Robert Rodriguez have achieved the most faithful and effective adaptation of a comic yet attempted.

Sin City is shot in black and white, with colour used sparingly in a splash of shocking red blood, or to reveal the beauty of a desired woman. Its characters are a miracle of prosthetics and make-up that make you believe in them. Mickey Rourke in particular, ceases to be the actor from 9½ weeks. He becomes Marv, a hardened street-fighter seeking revenge for the murder of his one love, a goddess named Goldie. The all-star cast set aside their preconceptions about acting to maintain the two-dimensional intrigue of the page. Bruce Willis is outstanding as Hartigan, an honest cop fighting for innocence in a city full of sin and Clive Owen throws himself wholeheartedly into the role of Dwight, a slightly unhinged vigilante who’d like to go straight but keeps getting seduced by his surroundings.

Sin City is violent, but classy; a serving of pulp fiction that even gets a stamp of approval from Quentin Tarantino. During his day as guest director on Sin City he created one of its creepiest scenes, in which Dwight takes a drive with a corpse. In this scene and throughout, the film employs a masterful use of modern technology to create art out of popular cinema. It will thrill anyone who can handle seeing a little blood.