crime, movie, movie review, thriller

September 10th, 2017 Movie – Sin City

sin city

When it comes to movies based on comic books, 95% of the time I am all in for going to see them. Occasionally, there are those few (*cough* Catwoman *cough*) that I have no interest in seeing, but that was definitely not the case with today’s movie. I was a fan of Frank Miller’s work ever since I first read “The Dark Knight Returns” and when I heard that they were making a movie based on his “Sin City” graphic novels, I was definitely all in. So I went to watch it on opening night, and got the added bonus of seeing a fight between two girls as I was leaving the theater but that is another story, and was definitely not let down by it. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Sin City.

[Since the movie does not have a linear plot, I will review each section as it is shown in the movie]
The plot: [The Customer Is Always Right: Part 1] A woman in a red dress is standing outside on a terrace when a man approaches her and offers her a cigarette. The man tells her he is there for her and has been watching her for days, then tells her he can tell she is tired of running and offers to help her. The two share a kiss and as he holds her, the man shoots her and then holds her until she dies. The man says he will never know what she was running from but will cash her check in the morning.
{That Yellow Bastard: Part 1] Police detective Jack Hartigan is an aging cop on his last day on the force, as his doctor is forcing him to take early retirement due to his bad heart. Before he retires, Hartigan hopes to rescue a young girl, Nancy Callahan, from the clutches of Roark Junior, a sadistic child molester/killer who escapes justice due to his being the son of a senator. When he gets to the docks, his partner Bob tries to talk Hartigan out of it but Hartigan refuses to wait and punches Bob out cold. Hartigan makes his way to the warehouse where Junior and Nancy were said to be at, taking out two of Junior’s men on the way, when he collapses in pain due to his heart problems. Taking some pills and pulling out his gun, Hartigan bursts into through the door and takes out the two men inside, but Junior shoots him in the arm and escapes with Nancy. Hartigan follows him to the end of the dock, where Junior taunts him that he can’t touch him because of his father, but Hartigan shoots his ear off. As Hartigan tells Nancy to cover her eyes, Junior shoots Hartigan in the shoulder, prompting Hartigan to shoot off Junior’s hand and his penis. Suddenly, Hartigan is shot in the back by Bob, who was on Senator Junior’s payroll, and when Hartigan refuses to sit down and goes for his hidden piece, Bob shoots him several more times until Hartigan collapses on the dock. As the sirens get closer, Nancy approaches Hartigan and lays down in his lap while Hartigan passes out due to blood loss, thinking it fitting that an old man dies so a young girl may live.
[The Hard Goodbye] A man named Marv has sex with a prostitute named Goldie but when he wakes up, he finds that she has been murdered and he has been set up to take the fall. When the police come to arrest him, Marv fights his way through them and escapes his building, steals a police car, then drives it off a pier before swimming to a nearby sewer pipe and using it to escape the manhunt. Marv heads to the apartment of his parole officer Lucille, who is dating a shrink that gives her some pills for Marv to take after she tried to give him therapy. After telling her about his run in with the police, Marv heads out to find out who killed Goldie and why. Marv heads to Kadie’s bar and orders some drinks while watching Nancy Callahan, now an adult, dance on stage. While he is drinking, a man named Dwight McCarthy is watching him and comments on Marv being born in the wrong century. When two hit-men show up and escort Marv outside, he quickly subdues them and tortures one of them to get information on Goldie’s killer before he kills them. As he leaves, he thinks he smells Goldie’s perfume but dismisses it, not noticing a woman that looks like Goldie is following him. Marv works his way up the food chain to a crooked priest, who tells him that Roark is involved and tells him to head out to a farm to verify the truth and Marv kills him when he insults Goldie. As he leaves the church, Marv is struck by a car driven by the woman that looks like Goldie, who shoots at him before speeding off. Marv thinks the attack was just a hallucination and heads out to the farm, where he finds a human bone before he is quickly knocked unconscious by Goldie’s killer, a young man named Kevin. When Marv comes too, he is in a tiled room with the heads of several women mounted on the wall and a naked Lucille shivering in the corner and as he goes to comfort her, she reveals that Kevin is a cannibal and has eaten her hand. After she calms down, Lucille explains that she had hired Goldie to be with Marv and Marv said he never knew she was a hooker. Marv manages to break the bars off the window and they try to escape but a police helicopter arrives. Lucille knocks Marv out and tries to arrange a peaceful surrender but the officer in charge shoots her, prompting Marv to kill all of the cops. The officer in charge tells Marv that the man behind all of this is Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark, who holds enough political power to get his brother made a senator. Marv heads to Old Town to find out more information about Goldie when he is shot by the woman. When Marv comes too, the woman starts pistol whipping him to find out what he did to Goldie and the others but when one of the other hookers calls the woman Wendy, Marv learns that she is Goldie’s twin sister. After convincing Wendy that he isn’t the killer, Marv has her help him pick up some supplies and then drive him back out to the farm. After laying out a trap for Kevin, Marv throws a firebomb into the house and sets it ablaze, then manages to handcuff himself to Kevin, so that Kevin can’t move around, before knocking him out. Wendy shows up and goes to kill Kevin but Marv knocks her out and places her in the car. He then heads back to Kevin and proceeds to cut off Kevin’s limbs and then leaves him to be eaten by the wolf that was kept at the farm, cutting his head off before he leaves. Marv calls Kadie’s and has Nancy meet her at her place and he leaves Wendy with her, then heads out to find Cardinal Roark. After hearing Roark’s reasoning for the killings, Marv kills Roark and is then shot by the police but isn’t killed. After he recovers from surgery, he is beaten by police and blackmailed into signing a confession when they threaten to kill his mom. After the trial is over and he is sentenced to death, Marv receives a visit from Wendy, who tells him he can call her Goldie as she holds him. The next day, Marv is strapped into the electric chair and they are forced to electrocute him twice, as he managed to survive the first attempt.
[The Big Fat Kill] Shelly, a waitress at Kadie’s, is arguing with her abusive ex boyfriend Jackie Boy, who is trying to get her to let him into her apartment. As Jackie Boy keeps pounding on the door, her current boyfriend Dwight says to let him in but she refuses as she doesn’t want to cause more trouble. When Jackie Boy threatens to break down the door, Shelly opens it while Dwight gets dressed and ducks out of sight. Jackie Boy and his friends enter the apartment and after talking with her for a few minutes, he decks her and tells her to call some friends so they can all party, then heads off to use the restroom. As Jackie Boy finishes, Dwight grabs him and holds a straight-razor to his face and warns him to stay away from Shelly before dunking Jackie Boy’s head into the toilet and holding it there for a few minutes before he leaves. Jackie Boy is shaken up and quickly leaves with his gang while Shelly finds Dwight out on the ledge watching them leave. She tries to explain how she met Jackie Boy before Dwight came back but Dwight says it doesn’t matter and he has to stop Jackie Boy before anyone else gets hurt. As he leaps off the ledge, Shelly screams out at him but Dwight can’t hear what she is saying due to a passing police helicopter. As Dwight is following after Jackie Boy, a cop starts following him and then goes after Jackie Boy when he almost causes an accident. Jackie Boy heads to Old Town and the cop quickly turns around, as the girls of Old Town are the law in that part of town. Jackie Boy attempts to pick up a prostitute named Becky, Dwight goes to follow but is stopped by Gail, the defacto leader of the girls of Old Town, who tells him that they have been keeping tabs on Jackie Boy and his friends and that Miho is waiting for them to get out of line. When Jackie Boy pulls out a gun and threatens Becky, Miho throws a throwing star to cut off his hand, then proceeds to kill all of Jackie Boy’s men. As Jackie Boy tries to kill Miho, Dwight goes to help her and warns Jackie Boy not to shoot as Miho had blocked the barrel but tries to shoot Dwight and the gun backfires, sending the barrel into his head and Dwight asks Miho to put him out of his misery. As the girls start looting the bodies, Dwight searches Jackie Boy and discovers that he is a cop, which means his death will threaten the truce the girls have with the police. Some of the girls are worried that the bad times will start again but Gail says they will go to war and fight them off. Dwight tells Gail to get him a car and he will get rid of the body before the police shut down the roads and Gail refuses at first but after Dwight smacks her to get her to get the gun out of his face, she kisses him and agrees to give him the car. As Dwight helps Miho cut up the bodies so they fit in the trunk, Becky asks Gail if she can leave and Gail says yes but not to call anyone but Becky disobeys her and calls her mom when she is out of Gail’s sight. All of the bodies don’t fit in the trunk so Dwight puts Jackie Boy’s body next to him and as he drives off, he hallucinates that Jackie is talking to him. After talking his way out of being stopped by a police officer, Dwight pushes the car the last 1/4 mile to the tar pits but ends up being shot by someone who is after Jackie’s body. Meanwhile, Gail is organizing a lock down of the streets when she is grabbed by Manute, who tells her that they know what happened and his master will take over Old Town but offers her a chance to save the women’s lives. Back at the tar pits, the four mercenaries head over to the car to check the body but Dwight was saved due to the bullet hitting Jackie’s badge and he kills the four mercenaries but a grenade is tossed towards him and he is blown into the tar pit. When he comes too, he finds two men working on cutting off Jackie’s head as Dwight sinks into the tar. Dwight is rescued by Miho and Dallas, who tell him that Gail is captured and Dwight tells them they have a spy in Old Town. The head after the two mercenaries and crash into their car and eventually get the head back but Dallas is killed during the fight. Back in Old Town, Manute is torturing Gail while Becky tries to talk her into giving up but Gail bites Becky. Suddenly, Miho shoots an arrow into one of Manute’s men with a note from Dwight offering an exchange of Jackie’s head for Gail and as Manute and the others leave with Gail and Becky, Miho kills the man she shot. Outside, Dwight tells them they can have Old Town so long as he gets Gail and Manute releases Gail, who runs and embraces Dwight. As Dwight hands over the head, Becky says something is wrong and questions why there is tape over Jackie’s mouth, just as Dwight hits the detonator and triggers the explosive he placed inside the head. As Manute and his men recover, they find the rooftops filled with the girls of Old Town and Dwight, Gail, and all of the girls begin shooting at Manute and his men, as they want to leave a body count so high that the mob will deem it not worth trying to take Old Town. Becky is wounded but manages to get away while Dwight and Gail kiss each other and stare at the carnage.
[That Yellow Bastard: Part 2] Hartigan wakes up in a hospital bed to find Senator Roark standing over him, explaining that he plans on keeping Hartigan alive so he can torture him for what he did to his son, by framing him for the rapes and murders of all the kids Junior killed. He then receives a visit from Nancy, who is upset that they won’t let her testify and when Hartigan tells her not to visit or contact him, she tells him that she won’t visit but will write him every week and sign them Cordelia so they won’t know it is from her. The police try to get Hartigan to confess but Hartigan refuses so he is placed in Solitary, where he finds a letter from Nancy waiting for him. Nancy writes him for 8 years but when a few weeks go by without a letter, Hartigan gets worried about them having found Nancy. One day, Hartigan wakes up on the floor and finds a yellow skinned man sitting on his bed. The yellow skinned man knocks out Hartigan and when he comes too, he finds an envelope with a finger inside. Hartigan breaks down and decides to give Roark what he wants and confesses to the crimes in order to try and find Nancy. Hartigan is released and finds Bob waiting for him and he drives him to Nancy’s place, unaware that they are being followed by the yellow skinned man. At Nancy’s place, Hartigan finds no sign of her or where she might be except for a matchbook for Kadie’s. He heads there and asks Shelly if she knows Nancy and Shelly directs him to the stage, where he sees Nancy dancing. Hartigan realizes that he had been tricked and had led the yellow bastard straight to Nancy and tries to get outside before she can spot him but Nancy sees Hartigan and quickly jumps off stage and kisses him. Hartigan tells her they have to leave and as they leave the club, the yellow skinned man follows them and starts shooting at them. Hartigan uses Nancy’s gun to shoot back and manages to shoot the yellow skinned man in the throat, causing the car to crash. Hartigan has Nancy stop so he can confirm that the man is dead but when they check the car, they find no sign of the body and figure he crawled out to die. They head out to a motel to rest, unaware that the yellow skinned man was hiding in the back seat of Nancy’s car. Inside the motel, Nancy admits to Hartigan that she is in love with him and has been ever since he saved her, which is why she wrote to him, and Hartigan has a hard time telling her no, eventually giving in and kissing her before forcing himself to back away from her but tells her that he loves her too. Hartigan goes to take a cold shower only to have the yellow skinned man, who reveals himself to be Roark Junior, knocks him silly. Junior strings Hartigan up and leaves him to hang while he leaves with Nancy and Hartigan tells Nancy not to scream before Junior kicks the table out from under him. Hartigan doesn’t die and manages to break the window and use a piece of glass to free himself. As Junior’s men head to the motel to get rid of Hartigan’s body, Hartigan knocks one of them out and threatens the other one to learn where Junior took Nancy and he tells him that Junior went to the farm. Hartigan heads there in the goon’s car but as he approaches the farm, he starts having chest pains and coughs up blood. Hartigan uses a knife to kill some of the guards quietly and as he gets closer to the barn, he hears Junior whipping Nancy but she refuses to scream. As Hartigan rushes to get to the barn, he ends up getting shot in the arm, alerting Junior to his presence. Hartigan kills the shooter then heads to the barn to confront Junior but as he goes to shoot him, he suddenly collapses. Junior heads over to taunt Hartigan only for Hartigan to stab him in the stomach, revealing that he faked the heart attack to get Junior away from Nancy. Hartigan then proceeds to beat Junior to death with his bare hands before collapsing into Nancy’s arms. As Hartigan escorts Nancy to his car, he tells her to leave while he waits for some federal officers to process the scene so they can take down Roark but after she leaves, Hartigan, knowing Roark will do whatever it takes to kill Hartigan and Nancy since Junior is dead, kills himself in order to save Nancy’s life.
[The Customer Is Always Right: Part 2] Becky is at the hospital getting her arm tended too and talks to her mom on her cell phone when she steps into an elevator. Inside the elevator, she is approached by The Salesman, dressed as a doctor, who asks if she would like a smoke and Becky, knowing who he is, tells her mom that she loves her before hanging up the phone.

Sin City met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Visually groundbreaking and terrifically violent,¬†Sin City¬†brings the dark world of Frank Miller’s graphic novel to vivid life.” With the movies being based on Frank Miller’s books by the same name, there were actually several references to the books through out the movie. During the three main stories, the title of the story is mentioned during one of the main character’s narrations, while the cover art for the book “Booze, Broads, and Bullets” is seen various times throughout the movie. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $158.8 million off of a $40 million budget.

I am not going to lie, I absolutely love this movie. I honestly think it is one of the best translations to film of any comic book that has ever occurred. The acting was fantastic all around, with Bruce Willis (Hartigan) and Mickey Rourke (Marv) turning in absolutely amazing performances. The story was amazing and honestly felt like I was watching the comic book having come to life right off of the pages. The film technique used in this movie was fantastic, with the black and white style of filming adding to the dark tones of the movie while the occasional splashes of color made for some incredible contrasts which only added to those scenes. One of my favorite aspects was Alexis Bledel’s character of Becky, whose bright blue eyes made for some amazing contrast. The special effects with the fight scenes and the blood were also really good and really added to the whole feel of this being a comic book brought to life. Whether you are a comic book fan or not, this is absolutely a must see movie.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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