SIN CITY Movie Review

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SIN CITY
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
Guest Director: Quentin Tarantino

This review may contain some spoilers.

So.

After being on the road and sight-seeing for a couple of hours, I sat down and I watched Sin City on my iPhone. I haven't seen it in awhile and I forgot how much I dig this film, a graphic novel adaptation -- stylized in my favorite form of motion picture... film noir. Like many cinema lovers, I'm a fan of Alfred Hitchcock's film noir classics and even a bigger fan of neo-noir. Neo-noir like Taxi Driver, Following, L.A. Confidential, and my favorite of all time -- Blade Runner.

Sin City has three stories taken from the graphic novels. In addition to that, it opens with a short story as well. The visuals of the movie is superb and it has an a-list cast that delivered. Let's kick off this review by me, The Jet. But my peeps just call me "Jet." ;)

The Customer is Always Right

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The Customer is Always Right was a hell of way to show the audience the beauty and the remorseless side of Sin City as The Salesman (Josh Hartnett) murders The Customer (Marley Shelton) after locking lips with her in the rain and after he reassured her safety. It conveyed to the audiences how a man could kiss a woman, and then take her life the next micro-second. And then they reveal why, which is even more f*cked up -- but that's the way Sin City is. Bottom line, it was a great opening. I absolutely dig the voice-over dialog of The Salesman. The acting from both actors were quite convincing. The tone of it was quite sexy and dangerous concurrently -- which is, yes, cool. If you had to kick off a movie with a scene that would give audiences an idea of what they're in for, this is how you do it.

VERDICT: A

The Hard Goodbye

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In this story, Marv (Mickey Rourke) is avenging the death of a hooker named Goldie (Jamie King) after having one night of passionate sex with her. Now, Marv is a strange man who doesn't give a f*ck about consequences. Like Dwight says later on in the film, "Marv just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He would've fit in right in some battefield swinging an axe into someone's face. They would've tossed him girls like Nancy."

Perfect way to describe Marv. Saying he's crazy would be still somewhat of an understatement, but he still appreciated what Goldie gave him -- which was "the night of his life." Goldie gets killed, a couple of hours after she slept with Marv. After discovering Goldie's dead, Marv safely assumes the cops and an unknown are in on it because the cops showed up too fast-- guns blazing. Blaming him for Goldie's death.

I can tell you this without giving away the plot too much. Marv is a reckless and psychotic character. Literally, he goes on a killing spree to find out the truth and who's framing him, but he doesn't hurt girls... that would make him a bad guy. Hahaha. Obviously, Mickey Rourke did a fantastic job as Marv. I don't really follow his films, other than the compelling and emotionally captivating The Wrestler. Jamie King's acting was okay. In some places, her lines sounded too forced. She is attractive, but her acting could've been more natural. Rutger Hauer was briefly in this (Blade Runner!).

My favorite scene in this story is the bridge scene where Marv's on his knees, staring up while it was pouring rain, and he was in an extreme close-up, saying these lines, "What if I imagined all of this? What if I've turned into what they always said I'd turn into? A maniac.... a psycho killer....?" That was well done. I like the fact that Marv questioned his own state of mind before continuing with his retribution Actually, Marv has some of the best lines in Sin City. Here are two more that dig:

"This is blood for blood and by the gallon. These are the old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They're back! There's no choice left. And I'm ready for war."

"I love hit men. No matter what you do to them, you don't feel bad."

Overall, a gritty and visceral story that I enjoyed. The lengths of what a psychotic madman would go through to avenge the death of a woman who showed him compassion, when no one else would.

VERDICT: A-


The Big Fat Kill

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This story is hard-boiled, much like The Hard Goodbye. But the difference is the main character Dwight (Clive Owen) who's seemingly a "good guy". In some way, you see the goodness of Dwight in several scenes and in his dialogs. He's tries to be a hero but at the same time, he is as ruthless as the menace he's trying to stop. He's "out of his mind." In this one scene where he questions if he should he waste a cop who's trying to pull him over, it showed his moral values: "What if he's a decent person, regular guy working stiff with a mortgage? A wife, and pile of kids?"

However, it doesn't really tells us who Dwight is. Why is he being the hero out of blue? Why is he this person, and what happened? Apparently, he's nothing more than a man with a gun, who goes out, and keeps the villains at bay.

The set up is basically this: Shellie (Brittany Murphy) is involved with a boyfriend who abuses her, Jack Rafferty (Benico Del Toro). One night, he comes over to her apartment with his loyal posse. They're all drunk. Shellie refuses to open the door, but her new boyfriend Dwight instructs her to oblige him. Eventually, Dwight and Jack have a confrontation in the bathroom and it was funny, but it was also a heated scene between the two. Clive Owen delivered an awesome performance as Dwight; and Benico Del Toro was splendid as always.

Anyway, Rafferty exits Shellie's place, pissed off. He goes to a city controlled by hookers entitled "Old Town" with his friends looking for a good time. Considering Jack's violent temper, that can only means trouble. So Dwight, being the hero that he is, tails Rafferty -- making sure he doesn't go around hurting anyone -- especially women. In Old Town, Dwight runs into his ex-girlfriend or an old flame in which he described as his "warrior woman" and she's bad-ass, but somewhat uninteresting to me. Her name's Gail (Rasario Dawson).

Anyway, things take a wrong turn with Jack, his posse, and the hookers -- trouble happens. Big trouble. I won't spoil it, though. Big Fat Kill has cool action, interesting enough characters (but lacking in real depth like Marv), and a story that's somewhat stupid when we find out about the code the hookers have with the cops and the mobs. And in the ending where all the hookers wielded guns and, yes, brought down a Big Fat Kill... was, in my point of view... EH.

The only character that seems to have real depth is the scumbag Jack Raffetery, you'll know what I mean when you see it or if you've already seen it. Some really cool lines from Dwight, though, delivered in a smooth -- ala James Bond -- sort of way. I guess because it's Clive Owens.

"Miho. You're an angel. You're a saint. You're Mother Teresa. You're Elvis. You're God. And if you'd shown up about ten minutes earlier, we'd still have Jackie Boy's head."

"You'll always be mine. Always.... and never." That was said by Dwight, in voice-over, against a crimson sky. Awesome.

VERDICT: B-

The Yellow Bastard

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Hartigan (Bruce Willis) is a retiring honest cop. But before he retires, he needs to tie up loose ends, which means stopping Roark Junior (Nick Stahl), son of a U.S. Senator, from molesting and murdering little girls. Hartigan tries to save Nancy Callahan at age nine, but who will grow up and be portrayed by Jessica Alba. The talented and hot Jessica Alba. Anyway, I digress... he saves Nancy after kicking Junior's a** in a vicious and raw way. It was gross... but cool.

Hartigan tries to finish the job, but his partner Bob (Michael Madsen) -- who's on the payroll of Roark -- tags Hartigan a dozen times to put a halt to that. Hartigan goes to jail, but Nancy promises to write Hartigan every Thursday under a different name. Hartigan is blamed for molesting the little girls, and Nancy. Junior's dad, Senator Roark says he wants Hartigan to basically rot in jail and get his reputation ruined. He says if Hartigan tells anyone about the frame, they're dead. Nancy's dead.


After eight long years pass, Hartigan is still in jail. And to his surprisement, he still receives letters from Nancy every single Thursday. One Thursday, a letter didn't arrive, however. At first, he assumes she's moved on because she would 19 years old by now, but then he assumes that they've found out that it was her who has been sending him letters. And when does he get an envelope again? There's a bloody finger in it, and it seems it would belong to a 19 year old girl. He panics. Hartigan never signed the confession papers that states that he molested those girls and murdered them.

But since it's the only way to get out, he signs the papers and goes on to look for Nancy. Eventually, Hartigan does find Nancy indeed and to his surprisement.... she grew up to be a sexy stripper -- who doesn't strip, oddly enough...

"You're just a horny ex-con watching an exotic dancer."


I won't spoil what happens after that. This story has the most heart out of the three stories. It's also interesting the way Nancy feels about Hartigan...kinda weird, but hey. The ending of it was the best ending out of all of three. It was unexpected and melancholy -- but moving. And it's hard-boiled just like the other two.

Hartigan is the best good guy character in Sin City. I mean, come on...he's an honest good cop. That sounds vague, I know, but I don't want to spoil what he does and what he doesn't do too much. Both Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba gave wonderful performances.

VERDICT: A

And that's it. Sin City is stylish, sick, and sexy. It has its hilarious moments, but most of the time, it's a hard-boiled flick. Sin City is not one of those movies with a lot of heart and complex story-lines. It's an in-your-face kind of action movie. This movie is perfect at what it's meant to be, as it is a homage to film noir... meeting an action flick. This is, by far, Robert Rodriguez best work... thus far.

However, it's definitely more of a "guy movie." A lot of girls I talk to think the movie is sexist and such... while I don't really see that, it's an action flick. So, yeah, be cool... until next time! =]

OVERALL VERDICT: A-

Do give me a "Vote Up" if you found this hub useful or cool. Thanks much. The Jet signing out.

As a filmmaker, I made something of a neo-noir flick myself. Watch the trailer in FULL HD. Dark films like Sin City rock.

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Comments 8 comments

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I haven't seen Sin City yet and while I like a good thriller your fantastic movie review of Sin City has me convinced this is a must see. Thanks for the tip! :) Katie


The Jet profile image

The Jet 5 years ago from The Bay Author

Happy to help. I hope you enjoy it. Whether you do or don't, I'd like to know. :)


DavitosanX profile image

DavitosanX 5 years ago

Great review! I agree with you on most points, but I would've given The Hard Goodbye an A+ (I really, really like that chapter) No mention for Elijah Woods' character? It was interesting to say the least.

Do you plan on reviewing Pulp Fiction?


The Jet profile image

The Jet 5 years ago from The Bay Author

Hey, man.

The Hard Goodbye was good, but it was obviously one-man carrying the momentum of its awesomeness. Nothing's wrong with that, but Jamie King's acting was stiff and I'm indifferent to Wood's creepy character. He wasn't that interesting to me. For an A+, mostly everything had to be right.

As for Pulp Fiction... man, I love that film so much I can't even put Pulp Fiction into words... let alone a whole review! Haha. Maybe I'll give it a shot, but it won't do its awesomeness justice.

Thanks for stopping by.


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

Marv was my favorite charactor and story. As one review wrote he was phillip Marlowe meets Conan. I heard it said the sequel to Sin City can't be made because of Brittnany Murphy's death, I didn't know Shellie was such an important charactor, plus it isn't like another actress can't take over the role.

I found Big Fat Kill alittle too confusing but still fun. Yellow Basterd while having a bizarre villion, also had a very realistic/sad, ending


The Jet profile image

The Jet 5 years ago from The Bay Author

Great points. Sin City 2 starts production in December, says Rodriguez. Hopefully it's true this time.


Kevina Oyatedor profile image

Kevina Oyatedor 3 years ago

this is one of my favorite neo noir films. Can't wait for Sin City 2. Great hub.


The Jet profile image

The Jet 3 years ago from The Bay Author

Thanks. Sin City 2 is long overdue.

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