Release year: 2005
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Quentin tarantino
Screenwriter: Frank Miller, Frank Miller (graphic novels)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke, Elijah Wood, Benicio Del Toro, Devon Aoki
Ratings: 3 Saturn Awards: Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film, Best Supporting Actor (Mickey Rourke), Best DVD Special Edition release. Technical Grand Prize at Cannes.
Four tales of crime tells the stories of some unfortunate souls in dark, depressing Basin City, as they each come across some of the worst scum of the city.
Although something of a risk, this black and white movie, with splashes of colour and constant narration, ended up a box office and critical succes so far leading to one sequel with Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill for (2014). Directed by Robert Rodriquez (From Dusk Till Dawn 1996) it is an adaption, or translation according to Rodriguez, of Frank Miller’s critically acclaimed graphic novels, this movie taking its stories from the novels “The Hard Goodbye”, The Big Fat Kill” and “That Yellow Bastard” as well as the short “The Customer Is Always Right”. Shot on a completely digital backlot, Rodriguez has made the brave decision to keep it in black and white, showing tribute to both the graphic novel it originated from, as well as the film noir genre it leans closely against. Splashes of colour gives it a stunningly refreshing artistic look that takes a great story with fabulous characters and lifts it to a whole other level. Sometimes narration in a movie can be disrupting even annoying, especially if it is constant as is the case here. But when the narration consists of an as beautiful crafted script as is here and spoken with true film noir style raspy and dark tone of voice, it blends into the story perfectly and makes it almost like watching a moving graphic novel which is perfect, considering the source. The film noir style is further established by the characters: flawed heroes, lovely dames and femme fatales. While Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler 2008) is almost unregonizable, he still manage to make an exeptional impact as Marv, whose outside far from resemble the inside, and together with Bruce Willis’ (Die Hard 1988) honourable and all around good guy Hartigan and Clive Owen’s (Children of Men 2006) mysterious Dwight he is the hero of the movie, all of them fighting for a damsel in distress. The female cast is filled with a mix of woman; Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four 2005) is sweet hotness as Nancy, Rosario Dawson (Men In Black II 2002) is dangerously siren Gail and Devon Aoki (2 Fast 2 Furious 2003) is deadly Miho. Around them is a colourful ensemble of wonderful sidekicks, lucious love interests, hardboiled henchmen and an incredibly creepy cannibal. The stylised look, the brilliant and talented cast, or the magnificent script; choose which reason you want for watching this movie but do yourself a favour and watch, or rewatch, it.
Robert Rodriguez scored Kill Bill: Vo. 2 (2004) for $1. Quentin Tarantino said he would repay him by directing a segment of this movie for $1. Tarantino, a vocal proponent of film-over-digital, has said that he was curious to get hands-on experience with the HD cameras which Rodriguez lauds.He directed the scene involving Dwight (Clive Owen) and Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro) in the front of the car, before Dwight is pulled over by a police officer. When asked about his experience, Tarantino merely replied, “Mission Accomplished.”
Picture copyright: SF films