DIRECTORS: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller & Quentin Tarantino
May Contain Spoilers!
Sin City was not on my 2005 watch list and it wasn’t until two years later that I watched it and was blown away. The style, the noir tone and the episodic pacing just worked for me. It looked as if it had just been lifted of the printed page, with mainly black and white imagery with selective colour throughout, this was like noting that I’d ever seen before.
Sin City is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name and follows a group of characters through four different stories, all of which, as with Pulp Fiction (1994) are intertwined. With hitmen, femme fatale and junkies, this is a bizzare set of tales set in the depraved city in which vice rules and the police are just there be bought or killed off.
This was the catalyst for Mickey Rourke’s comeback and seemed to star just about everybody from everything at the time, old faces and new. But the story is almost none existent. It’s just a series of noir styled ideas, pitches which are there purely to service the style, the aesthetic, almost like a child whose latest fad is gangsters, just playing at it whilst knowing very little about the actual subject.
But I like it. That’s me. What I know about gangsters and vice I generally know from movies, where it’s James Cagney or Joe Pesci. Sin City is playing with the ideas and feel of the genre and hyper-realising them for pure, unadulterated exploitative entertainment. The moral compass is pointed decidedly south through this movie and that’s great! That’s the point and it is realised to its fullest potential.
For the DVD release a year later, the film was re-cut into the correct order, putting each episode together, as the original cut had them all bleeding into one another but that was the charm. The stories were happening simultaneously and affected each other but once the movie had been cut in the more traditional format, it lost so much. I highly recommend the Theatrical Cut but would leave the Recut Version, even though it does contain more footage, well alone.
Sin City was a work of art back in 2005 and paved the way for movies such as Zack Snyder’s 300 in 2007, as well as the rip off’s of that such as the Spartacus TV series which has just concluded this year. It should be recognised for that even though I know that it may feel like old hat now, but in 2005/06 it was something which we had never seen before and was played so well by Rodriguez, Miller and Tarantino.