“Sin City (2005)” Review

Lucille is my parole officer.

Why did I watch it?

Basically because @joenicholls told me to.

Did it meet expectations?

It’s certainly, visually, an extraordinary piece of cinema. Stark, bold, lighting. Everything black and white with colour used as a highlight: red lipstick, red blood, blue eyes. It’s a world in which the men are all dangerous and the women are grateful. There’s an extraordinary amount of graphic violence. Some sex, but huge amounts of violence. The men are mostly indestructible taking an extraordinary number of bullets and surviving. They also get to do voice overs.

Some of the dialogue is fairly disastrous (“she was everything a man could want”) but a few lines later you’ll get a triumph (a pair of thugs have “delusions of eloquence”). It’s trying hard to be pulp fiction, and yet (my favourite thing about it) there’s an 11 year old girl who reads P D James.

Every scene is packed with tension or action. The voice overs have to do the heavy lifting in presenting character. There’s some very efficient storytelling, but it’s also very compressed.  There’s never a dull moment… but about 45 minutes of it feels sufficient.

You should watch it if…

  • You want to see cinema turned into a comic book

You shouldn’t watch it if…

  • You’re after naturalism
  • You enjoy a few minutes respite between incidents of extreme violence

Next up: Steve Jobs (2015)

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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