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Film Dribble
Thursday, 31 March 2005
Sin City - **1/2
Now Playing: (2005, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller) [seen in theatre]
Having read one of the storylines- THAT YELLOW BASTARD- that the filmmakers use in this film, I can attest to Rodriguez's fidelity to the source material. Every image and every line hearkens back to its corresponding frame in the original, no doubt much to the delight of Miller, who was so afraid of having his vision tainted by filmmakers. However, whether this faithfulness makes for a good film is a somewhat tougher call. It's certainly great eye candy (the black-and-white DV is often gorgeous), and fans of the graphic novels will have ample opportunities to geek out, but I was left a little cold by the cinematic "translation." Rodriguez's commitment to Miller's original works is certainly admirable, but in the execution it feels more than a little sterile, with attention to images taking precedence over their impact here. The mean streets of Basin City and the archetypal characters that prowl them (by night, naturally) take on a rough poetry on the page, but most of the flesh-and-blood actors of the film play these characters superficially, doing little to hint at their no doubt hard-luck backstories. The major exception is comeback kid Mickey Rourke as Marv, a hood whose fate was imprinted on his hardened face- Rourke's performance is easily the film's most touching, as he finds himself driven to avenge the death of the only woman who ever treated him with kindness, if only for one night. Rodriguez is obviously jazzed about filmmaking in general, and about SIN CITY in particular, and so it's a shame that he's not quite filmmaker enough to elicit that same excitement in audiences.

Posted by hkoreeda at 10:29 PM EST

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