What happens in Sin City stays in Sin City. That was the stance taken by director Robert Rodriguez, maker of the Spy Kids and Desperado trilogies, as he set out to faithfully adapt Frank Miller’s comic book series for the big screen. The result is an atmospheric, supernatural noir tale of revenge told with a unique blend of live-action and digital animation. The film opens wide across North America today.
Much like Paramount’s Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Rodriguez’s Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, Sin City features real actors on sets largely created with digital software. Contracted to provide the film’s visual effects were The Orphanage, Café FX and Hybride. Daniel LeDuc, who served as visual effects supervisor on the Spy Kids movies and Rodriguez’s last effort, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, again took the vfx reins.
Sin City is based on three of Miller’s graphic novels–Sin City, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard. The film features an all-star cast in a series of interweaving stories that take place in Basin City. Virtually unrecognizable behind prosthetic makeup, Mickey Rourke plays Marv, a beast of a man out to avenge the murder of his one true love. Bruce Willis also shows up as Hartigan, a retiring police officer who gets sent upriver for a crime he didn’t commit. In another story, Clive Owen plays a photographer who accidentally kills a cop and has to cover up the crime. The cast also includes Benicio Del Toro, Jessica Alba, Michael Clark Duncan, Brittany Murphy, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson, Nick Stahl and Elijah Wood.
To further ensure that Miller’s vision was accurately translated for the screen, Rodriguez brought the author and illustrator on as his co-director. He also enlisted the help of pal Quentin Tarantino, who directed a brief sequence.
Mainstream audiences may be turned off by the film’s ultra-violent nature and black-and-white photography, but this panel-for-panel adaptation is sure to win over fans of the comic books and the young male audience in general. Reviews have been mixed, but most praise the movie’s bold visual style, but bemoan the lack of an original plotline and the abundance of unsavory and violent images on the screen.