Robert Rodriguez is an interesting director. On occasion he’s done good things, such as Planet Terror, the parody B-movie style horror flick that accompanied Tarantino’s Death Proof in cinemas, under the title Grindhouse. On the other hand, he’s produced some absolute shite, such as the abominable Spy Kids trilogy (which I’m ashamed to say I’ve seen in its entirety) and it’s abysmal follow-up The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3D. Having just written that, I’ve just become aware that there is indeed a fouth Spy Kids film, which takes the gimmickery to the fourth level, with scratch-and-sniff cards that apparently give you the whiff of dog farts amongst other things. His film literally smells like crap. Another film, another review (perhaps). Anyway, this review is about Sin City.
Based on the Frank Miller graphic novel (which takes the need for storyboards away), Rodriguez utilises an ensemble cast including Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jaime King, Michael Clarke Duncan (see my previous review), Elijah Wood, Michael Madsen and Rutger Hauer to bring this bizarre tale to life.
Set in the black-and-white world of Basin City, we follow the stories of three men, all out to kill for love or something. It’s a bit like watching Heavy Metal, although far less confusing. It’s a neo-noir, larger-than-life film, where surreal effects are commonplace, although they don’t hinder the story at all. There’s a very decent amount of gory, stylistic violence, where the blood can be either red or white (or even yellow). Mickey Rourke, who sports a very strangely shaped nose in this film, is riddled with machine gun ammo, but wakes up fine in a hospital in the very next scene. Frodo is chewed to death by a wolf. It’s all fun and games!
Verdict: fair enough. While I didn’t find the characters entirely convincing, it was definitely a fun, easy ride, and I can see why it has so much acclaim. If you’re looking for a quirky, stylistic action film, you’ve come to the right place! I look forward to the sequel this year.