When Tron was filmed in black and white and color was layered on top, it was a pretty cool effect. Steven Spielberg used color to add to the horror of the black and white Schindler’s List. Frank Miller uses color in the black and white Sin City like someone who just started to play around with Photoshop and After Effects and said-Cool, look what I can do!
The color elements in Sin City only serve to distract from the bizzaro world story of a city where everyone murders everyone else and that’s OK. The bad guys and the good guys are the same guys. Graphic violence spills all over the screen in gushes of comic book style blood and gore. Heads and limbs are chopped off willy nilly and none of it seems to matter much at all.
Frank Miller loves the art of comic books, which at it’s finest is a pretty cool art form. The trick to making comics great is the frozen moment, that split second where Spiderman is swinging from a thread or Superman is lifting a car off an innocent bystander. What makes it hard to put a comic book on film is that movie move. Frank Miller gets around this by having frozen time moments scattered through out Sin City. Impossible lighting and ridiculously long shadows make regular appearances. Characters that are impervious to such trivial events as being run over by cars and shake off a jolt from the electric chair are common place in Sin City.
This is film noir taken all the way to film totally black. The hokey voice overs and constant shadows are reminiscent of the good old days of The Maltese Falcon or Citizen Kane. The half naked women with machine guns and the hyper violence are a bit more recent, but still fit into this mixed up mess well enough. The occasional splashes of cartoonism are a bit annoying, it’s one of those films where I wish they would have made up their minds as to what they wanted to do. Make a live action film or make a cartoon film, I really don’t like the way Sin City flips back and forth. Who Framed Roger Rabbit managed to get it right, just about everything else has got it wrong.
This was not my kind of film. Too grim, too pointless, too many questions that are never addressed, let along answered. I might have gone along with all the nonsense until the villain from the beginning of the film shows up again later, only he is no longer human, he is an orange Ferengi. Not that the story made any sense up to that point, that was just where it totally lost my interest. If you liked the comic book, I guess you liked Sin City the movie.
If your not going to have a story that makes any sense, I would like to see more sex and less violence-but maybe that’s just me.