Sin City Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

Sin City Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
More than simply a film adaptation of Frank Miller's noir comic serial Sin City, the latest project from Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon A Time in Mexico) is Sin City brought to life. No wonder the film captures the books' look so precisely — Miller was so heavily involved in the process, Rodriguez gave him a co-director credit (along with "guest director" Quentin Tarantino). Getting the look right is more than half the battle here, and they pull it off in spades: the rich, inky blacks are splashed with digitally-altered colour throughout, and from one protagonist's red shoes to the sickly yellow blood of a villain to the golden tresses of a blonde prostitute, the use of colour manages to punctuate and not distract. Drawn from three distinct Sin City tales, the plot stitches together a loosely connected series of noir-inspired tales of dirty cops, violent drunks and heart-of-gold (and armed to the teeth) hookers. Embodying these archetypes is a massive cast of name brand goodness too long to even mention, but amongst them, Mickey Rourke is spectacular as tough guy Marv; Bruce Willis does a solid Hartigan; Nick Stahl slithers as That Yellow Bastard; and Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson and Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel rule the red light district. For fans of Miller's visually driven books, this is a pinnacle accomplishment. However, for those who find Sin City to be too thin in story and character depth, those same, um, sins handcuff the film as well. Without a strong narrative through-line, Rodriguez treats different serial stories as vignettes within Sin City's bigger picture, and uses Bruce Willis's Hartigan and his relationship with Jessica Alba's Nancy as bookends. Given just how successfully Rodriguez has captured the tone, look and spirit of Miller's books — and by doing so provides echoes to the film noir that inspired them — one expects Sin City to be a home run. It's not, quite: narrative disjointedness and thin characters (many of whom played by name actors you expect to see more of) keeps it from true masterpiece status. But visually, it'll seep into your consciousness until you see silhouetted raindrops in your dreams. (Alliance Atlantis)