it’s a film with plenty of potential, but it didn’t quite do it for me.
the most striking element of the film is clearly the film’s look. like sky captain and the world of tomorrow, the entire film was shot in front of a green scream which means more post-production, but it also saves a lot on crew costs – grips, carpenters, etc. were probably all but completely absent during the (short) filming. it allows the director(s) to do all sorts of interesting things with lighting and color in post, and the film does a good job of using this potential to create a fairly fresh look. to me the film took the look of sky captain and the use of color in hero (2002) and combined them. one of the better uses of color is the way the color of a dress pops out against the otherwise black and white landscape. this same device was used in a cheap, not very good film, called nirvana (1997). what i’m getting at here is that sin city isn’t as original as people will have you believe.
i didn’t like the narrative structure very much. i understand that the comic novels jumped around from storyline to storyline, but it didn’t work very well in the film. in the first 20 minutes or so we are introduced to three separate storylines and we don’t get back to the second one until about an hour into the film, and the first one until the last five minutes. it disrupts the flow of the film and didn’t seem to add very much to the film. if it was necessary to have several storylines, then i would have strung them together end on end, rather than fracture them the way the film did.
sin city’s main character is the city. i think that everything is done towards this end. transit shots are included, not just to allow time for narration, but also to give a sense of the city’s geography. we get a clear idea of what the city is about. oddly, the film reminded me of who framed roger rabbit, in this regard. in both films the sense of reality is stretched in a fictional city. each city is its own world with its own laws and norms.
i felt that the acting style, overall, should have been a bit more stylized in order to match the narration and visual style. rourke, wood, and willis were good but the rest were either average or less than that. jessica alba is kinda ugly and not a very good actress. rosario dawson is hot, but miscast and not very successful as the madam of the whore army.
i liked the mickey rourke storyline the most. i would guess that tarantino directed the opening scene with willis because it is reminiscent of kill bill vol. 2 (in the car, narrating, looking at the camera), it has bruce willis (pulp fiction) and it features the loss of an ear (reservoir dogs).Watched in theater