The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, April 04, 2005

Sin City (2005)

Well, I am now convinced that Robert Rodriguez is a certified genius, and I don't use that
word lightly. The guy has pulled one hell of a rabbit out of his hat: a film that is
profane, incredibly violent, sexy, heartbreaking, funny, 2-dimensional, universal,and eye-
poppingly groundbreaking, unlike anything you have ever seen before. A literal translation
of comic icon Frank Miller's "Sin City" series of hard-boiled graphic novels, it takes Micky
Spillane, cross-breeds it with Quentin Tarantino (a Rodriguez buddy, who directs a scene in
the film), adds a stellar cavalcade of top-flight talent who MUST have worked for scale,
resurrects the career of Mickey Roarke, and establishes a new genre: the graphic novel film.
THIS is the most literal translation of a comic book to ever grace the screen, three inter
-locking stories set in "Basin City", a cesspool of sex and violence in which only
individual acts of sacrifice and honor have any hope of redeaming the lost and desperate
souls within it. I won't go too deeply into the stories, except to say that the first,
starring Mickey Roark as the unkillable death machine Marv, based on "The Hard Goodbye", is
the best. A rock-em, sock-'em oh-my-god-did-you-see-that kind of story, insanely violent
and over the top, and ultimately the strangest love story I've seen in years. Marv, in his
attempt to avenge the murder of a prostitute who was kind to him for a night, is somehow
reminescent of the Fantastic Four's Benjamin Grimm, an invulnerable broken heart of a
wounded Knight Errant, finally finding a crusade worthy of his physical and emotional
depths. Wow. Be warned: not for the faint of heart, pushing the "R" rating with a cinematic
bulldozer. What a great time at the movies! A solid, solid "A", only the indifferent
casting of Clive Owen keeping it from being an "A+" Wow. See it.

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