Action – Sin City by sofiaie


									Action – Sin City                   ISY

Title: Violent City

There have been a plethora of movies adapted from comic books in recent years. Ranging from the highly successful Spiderman, Batman
and X-Men franchise, to the embarrassing duds like Elektra and Catwoman. With the advance filming technology available at the tip of
Hollywood‟s hands, it seems now is the good time as any to bring these 2-dimensional heroes and villains to life. Achieving a good balance
between the two, in keeping both the general viewing audience and the comic book purists happy, is almost impossible. But then again,
making adaptations are never easy compared to creating movies from fresh screenplays.

Not since the days of Dick Tracy in the early 90s was there an attempt of creating a movie to look like scenes from a comic book try to stay
true to it‟s form. The fact that it was a bomb at the box-office could be a deterrent to Hollywood movie makers to go down this path again,
opting for a more realistic approach to comic book adaptations. Until now, that is. Sin City, based on Frank Miller‟s cult comic books, is the
most genuine, most faithful comic to movie adaptation that will have comic purists swear that comic book characters can (and does) indeed
come to life in this Robert Rodriguez movie.

Adapted from Frank Miller's graphic novels, Sin City is Robert Rodriguez's film that takes place in Basin City, a violent world that never
sees sunlight. Film noir would be the best term to describe this ever dark and moody world, filled with mysterious characters, each with his
and her own story to tell. In this movie, Rodriguez interweaves three different storylines based on three of Miller‟s works, “The Hard
Goodbye”, “The Big Fat Kill” and “That Yellow Bastard”.

In “The Hard Goodbye”, viewers will find an almost superhuman protagonist Marv. Marv is an invincible street fighter who has a one-night
stand with Goldie, a prostitute, only to discover the next day that she was murdered while still in bed with him. That was more than enough
to fuel this lovelorn beast to swear for vengeance and hunt down the murderer. The murderer turns out to be a psychopathic cannibal called
Kevin who moves in deadly silence, never to utter a single word – a direct contrast to Marv‟s personality that talks way too much in his

“The Big Fat Kill” revolves around a private investigator called Dwight who had a shady past. When his new girlfriend, Shellie, was
harassed by Jackie Boy, her abusive ex-boyfriend, Dwight chases him off, unbeknown to him, that Jackie Boy is a corrupt cop. The chase
brings Dwight to the Old Town, one of the most intriguing districts in Basin City – a district owned by a slew of lethally dangerous vixens
lead by Gail, who had something to do with Dwight‟s past.

The final story “That Yellow Bastard” tells the story of one of the rare honest cops left in Basin City. John Hartigan gets thrown in jail for a
crime that he didn‟t commit. Hartigan signs away his freedom and his reputation to save an 11-year old Nancy Callahan from a serial rapist,
That Yellow Bastard, who is mysteriously being protected by the law and the powers that be. Fast forward, 8 years, Nancy is now a
gorgeous lady working as a stripper at a sleazy joint. Hartigan gets a second chance to spare himself but for the price of betraying the girl.
Will he do it?

It‟s easy to see why the Sin City comic books have allured so many readers. They are filled with betrayals, gunshots, sexual deviances –
everything that makes up good film noir. The story has proven itself on comic form but will it be as good on the silver screen? One thing for
sure though, the movie has indeed stayed very accurate to its comic book origins. As to how much it will appeal to the viewing public, well,
we‟ll let you be the judge for yourself.

Subtitle : Meet The Denizens

Marv is the main character of the first story in Sin City. A local street fighter in an almost Hulk-like manner, Marv gets intimate with a
seductive woman who ends up dead. A smitten Marv then vows vengeance and is adamant in finding her killer. In Frank Miller‟s words,
“Marv was just born in the wrong century. He belongs on some ancient battlefield, swinging an axe into somebody's face. But here he is,
here and now. And whoever killed the woman of his dreams is going to pay. In blood.” Mickey Rourke (of 9½ Weeks fame), with the help of
prosthetics, plays the role of Marv to perfection. On playing Marv, Rourke commented, “I went out and bought the book at a comic store
after talking to Robert (Rodriguez). I‟d never been to a comic book store in my entire life and I certainly wasn‟t used to reading comic books.
But when I read the story of Marv I was excited because here was this far-out looking cat who had lots of interesting things to say and do,
and I thought, wow, this is going to be really different and fun.”

Goldie was the seductress who won a one-night stand with Marv, and eventually his heart after their night of passion. Her death was a
mystery but was largely ignored since she was from the Old Town. Playing Goldie is Jaime King who explains about the kind of ladies one
could find in Sin City. “Most of the women in a section of Sin City called OLD TOWN are prostitutes because it‟s something that has been
passed down from generation to generation. They have an incredible amount of power in the town, but they are also targets. In the
beginning of our story, Goldie finds out that her life is threatened so she has to look for a man to protect her and she meets Marv. He is
someone who has a real sense of strength and power to him, but at the same time gentleness and sweetness. He can‟t protect Goldie, as
it turns out, but he can avenge her death.”

Marv‟s nemesis turned out to be the psychotic, cannibalistic Kevin played by Elijah Wood. In an interesting and a total 180 turn from his
most glamorous role (as Frodo Baggins from “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy), Wood accepted this challenge to take on one of the darkest
criminal roles in the movie. “It‟s fun to deviate from what you‟ve done before. The most exciting roles always go down paths you‟ve never
taken before and that‟s certainly true of this one. It‟s also been a tremendous challenge. And on his character, “He‟s an intriguing guy,
really. There‟s something incredibly calm about Kevin. He is definitely a psychotic murderer but he finds a weird peace in hunting down and
eating people, which makes him pretty unique in the world of crazed killers. In his own way, he‟s looking for a kind of love.” And on making
comparison of Middle Earth to Sin City, “I think audiences are going to love going on this ride through Sin CIty. There are so many elements
at play. It‟s a world where men are men, women are women, and good and evil are always at war. It‟s an incredible place to visit -- but you
might not want to stay there!”

Dwight, the second protagonist in the second tale in the movie, is played by Clive Owen. Dwight has a dark past and is trying to leave it
behind. But when circumstances bring the mob and the working girls of Sin City‟s Old Town together, he had to step in to protect his old
friends. On his character, Owen commented, “Dwight is a man, like a lot of men, with a soft spot for the ladies – but this makes him very
fallible. He‟s very much in keeping with the whole picture of Sin City”. Frank Miller added, “Clive Owen is a terrific actor. He provided just
the note we needed. Dwight is a man in a maze: things just keep happening to him but he tries to keep his head up and protect his people.
His story is about friendship and survival. Clive brings such smoothness to it - he‟s able to maneuver his way through incredible events and
never wink at the audience.”

As though practicing for her role as Mimi Marquez for the movie Rent, Rosario Dawson plays the head alley cat, Gail, in this movie. Gail is
the head lady of the vamps working in the Old Town of Sin City. Beautiful and deadly, she commands respect from her fellow girls who are
ready to kill or even die for her. Gail had also previously helped save Dwight‟s life which explained Dwight‟s involvement in this latest
ruckus. On her character Gail, Dawson commented, “Gail is an amazing character. She‟s sort of „the law‟ in Old Town and she walks
around kind of like the Sheriff. She‟s very strong, very intense, and very comfortable in this crazy world. She‟s definitely someone who
lives on the edge and what makes the love story between her and Dwight so interesting is that he‟s someone who would like to get out of
Sin City and she just accepts it for what it is.”

Shellie is a local waitress and also happens to be Dwight‟s current girlfriend (although if you watch closely, you‟ll see she‟s in all three tales)
who is played by Brittany Murphy. “I thought it was cool to be the one character that drifts through all the stories. I only got to be Shellie for
two days, but she left a big imprint on me. She‟s not one of the ass-kicking Old Town girls - yet she has adapted very well to that
environment. She‟s sort of a throwback to the 30s or 40s era, which I love.” Shellie‟s attention to her ex-boyfriend was what triggered
Dwight‟s actions to drive him away, and eventually led him to the Old Town.

Jackie Boy, Shellie‟s ex-flame, is played by Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro. Jackie Boy used to be a noble policeman. He has
since then turned into an abusive drunkard, and a corrupt cop who stirs a lot of trouble than he should be in Sin City‟s Old Town. Del Toro
discussed with Frank Miller on Jackie Boy‟s history. “Jackie is someone who was a hero but got lost in the glory of it all. He‟s turned into a
bully, into a guy who believes he can get away with anything. He‟s a selfish mad man with a license to kill. He‟s sort of the perfect villain . .
. and he gets his due. You could say he gets a wound or two.” And on the movie itself, Del Toro mentioned that “Sin City is a new kind of
film noir. It‟s a slick, dark, make-believe world in which the heroes are snappy but the villains are snappier, and there‟s always another bad
guy waiting around the next corner.”

The other silent killer in this movie, is Miho, one of the deadliest assassin in the form of an Old Town girl. Likened to Uma Thurman‟s
character in Quentin Tarantino‟s “Kill Bill”, Miho, considered as an urban female samurai is played by Devon Aoki (from 2 Fast 2 Furious).
On her character, “Miho is very fierce and a wonderful character. She can be a challenge because she doesn‟t speak – so her actions
have to speak loud and clear. I also loved being a part of Sin City‟s Old Town, because it‟s the place where women call all the shots.”
Miller shares her sentiments too, “She‟s a character who comes, in a way, from a different realm than the rest of Sin City. She has more
magic than the others. She‟s also a character of great mystery. In Sin City, everybody talks a lot, but Miho never says a word. She is
silent but completely and utterly lethal.”

A giant of a character, Manute is played by an equal giant of a man, Michael Clarke Duncan (from The Green Mile). Nobody knows where
he comes from and nobody knows who he is taking orders from. Duncan sees his character as something like a modern-day myth.
“Manute is the ultimate bodyguard, the guy who will take any orders. This guy, he gets sliced up, he gets shot, but he keeps coming back.
He‟s like a fabled creature that nobody quite understands. He always rises from the ashes and you can‟t defeat him.”

Bruce Willis plays the central character in the third story in the movie. Willis plays John Hartigan, the last good cop of Sin City. He has been
fighting to catch a serial rapist that has been protected by Senator Roark for years. Willis plays a tough and emotionally torn character,
something that he can easily identify himself with. “When we first meet him, he‟s a man who‟s mostly hoping to get home to his wife and
away from this city of crime. But he can‟t quite do it, because there‟s this one thing he hasn‟t taken care of. Hartigan really stands out in
Sin City because he has this high moral code and a strong, driving set of ethics. Hartigan traded away his life for the life of this young girl
and that‟s a powerful thing. In the war between good and evil, Hartigan falls on the right side.”

Nancy Callahan will first be seen in the movie as an innocent 11-year old girl in danger. As the story progresses eight years later, we now
see her as a 19-year old Aphrodite in a dancing club. Frank Miller explains, “Nancy is really the symbol of Sin City, this angel who suddenly
appears in the most disturbing of places, and she is played beautifully by both Makenzie Vega (as a little girl) and Jessica Alba.” Jessica
Alba also has great praises for her character, “She‟s drawn as this doe-eyed, sweet girl with a softer side and I wanted to do this because
it‟s an area I haven‟t really been able to explore a whole lot. Nancy is the one person in Sin City who is very hopeful. Nancy wears her heart
on her shoulder and I wish I could wear mine like that a little more. It‟s wonderful to play somebody who is so perfectly soft and vulnerable
all the time, but also confident and strong.”

Roarkes Jr is to Hartigan, what Kevin was to Marv. Hartigan‟s nemesis was a serial rapist and demented sociopath who is later physically
transformed into an ugly yellow creature. Playing Roark Jr. and Yellow Bastard, under heavy prosthetics, is Nick Stahl of Carnivale fame.
Perhaps his experience from the freak-studded show gave him the edge to playing Yellow Bastard. Miller commented, “Nick Stahl was
genuinely terrifying. I don‟t know how he did everything that he did underneath all that makeup. The effects that (the effect team) created
make him look just like a horrifying drawing. I think Yellow Bastard will remind people of just how scary a comic book character can be.”

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