A review of ďSin CityĒ by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: R for violence, nudity, profanity and sex

Run Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes

 

Robert Rodriguez has reached new heights in this impossibly graphic and utterly ambitious remake of Frank Millerís graphic novel of the same name.

From opening frame Rodriguez grabs for the jugular and doesnít let go.A noirish voice-over sets the stage for a kinetic frame-by-frame adaptation of the grittier side of cartoon crime.

The narrative is broken down into a handful of restless vignettes saturated with washed-out color and the kind of violence that typically warrants an NC-17 next to its title. The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard feature gallons of spilt blood as each hone in on the bloodthirsty joy of slaughter.

Basin City, U.S.A.Hatchet-faced Marv (Mickey Rourke) falls for a platinum hooker named Goldie who ends up dead in his bed, setting in motion a firestorm of search and salvage.The corpse of the slut is worth dying for and Marvís going to go down avenging her soul even if it means some ugly face time with a soulless serial killer (Elijah Wood) who keeps the heads of his victims and eats the rest.Ugh.

On the other side of town scarred dick Hartigan (Bruce Willis) goes mano-a-mano with a freaky, yellow-skinned rapist (Nick Stahl) in order to save the life of little Nancy Callahan. A sticky bitch of a case that has stuck in Hartiganís craw for far too many years.

Clive Owen is poorly cast as an ex-con who wraps himself like a cheap suit around a malicious cop (Benicio Del Toro) who gets his jollies by roughing up girls.

As our heroes kill and maim their way to the truth the violence escalates into a balletic frenzy of redemption and remorse.Beheadings, slashings, electrocutions; no manner of death is too gory for Rodriguez/Millerís twisted imaginations.

Sin is a wild fantasy ride, a roller coaster of unprecedented proportion thatís alternately fascinating and repulsive.Not to mention fatally flawed; engaging with our surly bunch is a challenge due to editing-on-speed and a concrete edge that keeps genuine emotion at bay.

Relentless, shocking, and admirably experimental, Sin is destined to become a cult classic.