Steve “the Gart-faced Killer” Gartland
As per editor request, I entered Sin City with my cinephilism turned down and my comic geekhood cranked up. That said, to the point: Sin City is the most straight up bitchin’ comic book adaptation in movie history.
The press notes for Sin City say that via fancy digi-technology, the movie lost none of the comic’s silhouetted look. This is not an inaccurate boast. Making a movie look appealing is one thing; making a movie look like Frank Miller’s art is an award-worthy feat. Rodriguez used the comics as storyboards for the film, so Sin City ’s appearance is spot on, down to Gail’s last leather strap, though Bruce Willis is too good-looking and smirky for grizzled cop Hartigan. As tough guy Marv, Mickey Rourke harnessed all his physical prowess and his facial prosthetics look eerily similar to Miller’s vision. Nick Stahl, playing the eponymous killer from That Yellow Bastard is as he is in the comics: bulb-nosed, bald and jaundiced to the Nth degree.
Fans of the comic should be pleased that the movie doesn’t weave the stories into each other, but tells them as a three-part anthology. Very little is changed or left out from Miller’s original stories. The women are “dames,” the men brutes, the violence hilariously over-the-top, the dialogue stylized and Spillane-y. It all breezes along with the same snappy, syncopated rhythm that make the comics such a joy to read.
Ultimately, Sin City is the most accurate comic movie ever. It’s so good — never boring, always kinetic — we wish it were a comic so we could reread it for another peek at certain scenes. And Sin City ’s success begs a fanboy’s question: If Hollywood can finally get Frank Miller so right, why has it gotten Alan Moore so wrong?
Jason “Frenchie” Bogdaneris
I had never been to Sin City. Sure I’d heard of it, who hadn’t? Angel-faced whores with hearts as dark as midnight back alleys, cops rotten as hamburger meat left in a dumpster and politicians more crooked than a picture frame in an earthquake. Good guys? Sure, they’re around. A little broken down maybe, a little roughed-up around the edges, but if you look under the right rock, you’ll find them. There’s Marv, who isn’t the brightest street lamp on the block, but means well. When he’s not denting brick walls with scumbag’s skulls, he’s dodging bullets from corrupt cops and trying to figure out why they’ve pinned Goldie’s murder on him. Goldie. Sweet, beautiful, yellow-haired Goldie snuffed out by a killer as quiet as a cat and sick as cancer. Marv could eat hot lead for breakfast but his head isn’t right. And without his pills, he gets a little mixed up…
There’s Dwight too. A reformed killer paying his debt to society on the installment plan, protecting the ladies of Old Town… or is it the other way around? If you want a ride on the ecstasy express these dames will give it to you… for a price. But spit on their sidewalk and they’ll make you sorry you ever laid your peepers on them. Lucille will pierce a man’s heart a half-dozen ways and Miho, with her death stars, shaped swastika-style, can make a man gush crimson with the flick of a wrist.
And John Hartigan, the last honest cop in the entire miserable, cockroach-infested burg. He’s got a whole crooked town against him, including the bought-off senator and a pervert son with a taste for 11-year-old girls. He does his best to save Nancy but his bum ticker won’t make it easy. If things get a little too exciting, he’ll be riding the express train to the end of the line. And in Sin City things have a way of getting plenty exciting, plenty fast.