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Frank Miller's Sin City  

If you’re a fan of film noir you’ll probably get a kick out of “Sin City”, since this adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel (which I haven’t read) is an ultra-noir that beams your favorite noir elements into a hellish urban fantasy world (okay, not all your favorite elements –  there’s no proper hard-boiled detective).   The anti-heroes in these three interlocking stories (intensely played by Bruce Willis, Clive Owen and Mickey Rourke) have ethical codes as rigorous as Philip Marlowe’s but exist in a universe even darker and more meaningless than the one he inhabited.   Their codes are founded upon loyalty: these are guys who would die to protect and avenge the women in their lives (it matters not that said women are prostitutes and a stripper).  

Shot in expressionistic black and white by director Robert Rodriguez, with Quentin Tarantino credited as “special guest director” (the film utilizes a non-chronological narrative a la Tarantino).   Aficionados of the “Sin City” graphic novel claim that Rodriguez has been remarkably successful in translating its look and feel to the screen (in the film, constant voice-overs act as the equivalent to the captions of a comic book panel).   Myself, I wish the film were a bit funnier and smarter.

- Apr 17, 2005

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