By Craig Singleton (Wigan, England)
Waiting so many years to do a sequel to a film can be risky as the attention grows smaller every year that passes and a timewindow becomes an issue. There’s no law against waiting, but generally sequels are made no more than four years apart. However, Terminator 2 was released around eight years after the success of the first one and the time distance did nothing to hurt that, as well as the seven years between Alien and Aliens.
Sin City became a cult favorite and highlighted what digital can do. It could have just been a stand-alone film, but fans of the film wanted another story to see.
In director and writer Robert Rodriguez’s words, Sin City would not exist if it wasn’t for the existence of digital cameras. Color correction has been used before in film before such as in 1998’s Pleasantville where a black and white image has had certain colors appeared on specific parts of the image. However, shooting on a digital backlot and creating backgrounds and foregrounds meant that a whole world could be brought to life by a computer. Every actor in Sin City worked in-front of a green-screen and what we saw on screen was rich color details where the blacks looked darker and colors were more refreshed. Judging on just a visual basis, Sin City looks incredibly real and it doesn’t hurt when it’s shot greatly as well.
A homage to the film noirs of the 40s, the film has three main stories each with their male lead who act as protectors of woman even though the women aren’t exactly damsels in distress. The stories don’t interweave with each other, they are placed in the way that one story starts then stops or pauses then the next story starts. Each section lasting an average of thirty minutes means that the film has a steady pace to it. The three male leads are each played very well. Clive Owen, Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke impress both in acting and in the action scenes. Their characters love women and wouldn’t knowingly let any harm come towards them.
The cast is an all-star one from the likes of Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Benicio del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan and more in support who each bring something different to the table. The acting in my opinion from most of the actors is over the top which doesn’t inhibit the film because it’s not a depiction of life so some of the characters defy death and act in a way that a real-life person wouldn’t. This looks to me like the actors had a lot of fun in their roles and went along with the tone of the film. It’s very violent, it’s got a lot of gore and has a melodrama element to it which makes it an exciting viewing.
The stories aren’t bulky or try to give too much information, they keep it relatively simple and rely on style to get the viewer engaged. The stories are placed well and are well balanced. A negative for me is that the dialogue wasn’t captivating. Some of the lines the actors were given sometimes missed the mark for me so I wanted better planned out conversations because the film isn’t just all action. The action and the visuals are a highlight, but it’s the plot and the characters that can ultimately make or break a film.
Fantastic and memorable images are shown from Rosario Dawson’s sinister smile to Elijah Wood’s starry eyes. It’s a raging success in a line of graphic novels being brought from pages in people’s hands to the big screen which actually became one of the most highly ranked films of 2005.
My score for the film is 83%. Lowest mark for soundtrack, highest for visuals. Superbly shot, brilliant direction and a great cast. One of the most visually stunning films you could see with its attention to detail especially of color and the shaping of the environment for which the story’s set.