Visually Sin City is incredible. Shot primarily on sound stages in front of green screens it is technically and cinematically astonishing. Everything you see is artificial except for the actors, their props and a few small sets. The rest is generated and composed inside computers. Filmed in high-contrast black and white, a single character or object is sometimes highlighted with colour adding to the depravity of the plot.
Dripping with stylised film noir dialogue and tactile visuals, Sin City transports you into the world of the comic, blending the two art forms in a way that has been attempted many times but never accomplished. Fans of film noir and 50s pulp novels will enjoy the world created here, it’s from another time, another place, it is pure fantasy.
Experts believe that we dream in black and white. If that’s the case, Miller dreams in black and white splattered with red violence and yellow fear. Rodriguez duplicates the essence of those dreams, taking the art of film to a place it has never been. Sin City rips the ink right out of the comic book and injects it into your bloodstream. It copies Miller’s blocky, visceral style of drawing, inked with heavy blacks and with slashes of white representing rain. It offers a case study in the similarities and differences in film and comics, the two dominant forms of visual storytelling. Clearly influenced by the spirit and cadence of classic film noir, Miller’s stories are told in a disjointed Pulp Fiction style timeline but the stories are always held together by the dark, wet backdrop of Sin City itself.
Sadism is the major theme with dozens of explicit shootings, stabbings, beheadings, dismemberments and castrations, yes castrations – plural! All men are killers and all women are prostitutes, except for the good girl Nancy, she’s a stripper.
Those expecting a piece of wholesome movie entertainment along the lines of Spiderman are in for a rude awakening. This has a lot more in common with the works of Tarantino than Stan Lee. It’s not always easy to watch, and it’s certainly not for the easily offended, filled with violent and profane content which, like the Kill Bill movies, it pushes the 18-rated envelope.
***-This is a good film to see on a night out with the boys.