It’s always so damn hard to start talking about movies that not only changed the world but also changed you, personally. Sin City is a pulpy, juicy, and visually stunning neo-noir masterpiece that changed the world of cinema. This movie is a fucking vibe. Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez created something unique, something we’re going to enjoy in the decades to come. Each of them had different ideas and experiences that helped them to mold this movie into what it is. For example, Miller had horrific experiences with RoboCop 2 and 3 after they butchered his original script.
He went so far that he actually published Frank Miller’s RoboCop comic book series using the original scripts for the movies. Moving on, Sin City is a gritty crime thriller following several characters as they find themselves in a lot of trouble. However, stoic and sardonic, they accept their faith while trying to do the right thing. Featuring a running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes, this movie never gets boring or dull. Even when nothing is happening you can still enjoy the visual splendor of the setting and that juicy atmosphere.
Hell, the atmosphere was the thing that I loved the most. This dark, brooding, and yet oddly liberating atmosphere. Like the whole world is going to hell, there’s nothing I can do about that but at least I can do this one right thing. Sin City is a movie oozing with machismo brewed to perfection. This is not a toxic masculinity movie but a cynical examination of our society. A cynical examination of our society and powerful motives that keep popping up in the tales we leave for the next generations. And all of this just happens to be so damn entertaining. A pure fucking masterpiece and I do not use that term lightly.
Although I was in gaming quite heavily by 2001, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the first photorealistic computer-animated feature film left me quite amazed. When, four years later, I first saw Sin City, I experienced something much deeper. Not only the visuals were phenomenal and unique but the story and the characters were also great. I loved everything about it! I think this is because it is perfectly balanced, layered and packaged. The term I want to use for this process is cranking.
So you got your basic elements: script, visuals, and characters, and on top of them, you got gimmicks. This is music, cinematography, and all those little tricks used to achieve that perfect pacing. Take an ordinary shot from this movie and you’ll see that it’s of perfect length with audio/video elements helping to push the story forward. They know when to stop with the melodramatic elements and how to evoke feelings to change your current mental state. So, you’re not thinking “so sappy” but instead, with a huge degree of empathy, start getting sucked in (off) the story.
I will leave you to discover the beauty of these dark stories for yourself. I feel that everything has been already said about them. However, there’s been little talk about the underlying concept that makes this movie work so well. First of all, let’s take a look at the characters. They are all very independent and willing to do things that would bring them harm only because they believe that any other action would not be morally good.
The city represents the broken system of values that powers that be pushed upon the populace with the promise of a fair chance for everybody. When it broke, something had to take its place, and the tribal system, as the secondary, always available option, kicked in. This meant that the structures would slowly start to morph in order to facilitate this change. And so society inevitably changes with them along with the people. This trickle fuck effect is what is destroying our society today. And there’s not much we can do about it.
What appears to be the only option is to do what you can in your environment. And make time for movies like this. If you’re looking for movies like Sin City, Planet Terror, and Death Proof are all good choices. Of course, 300 is the ultimate pick along with a bit more cheerful Hellboy, also based on a graphic novel.
Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Writers: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hartnett, Rutger Hauer, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen
Fun Facts: Brittany Murphy filmed all of her scenes in one day.