Saturday, April 02, 2005

Movie Review: 'Sin City' is a study in vile

Innovative cinematography, stunning film noir sets, and a harem of beautiful creatures did nothing to redeem the unflinchingly viscous attack that is Sin City. Robert Rodriguez's movie adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels, is brilliant, beautiful, and brutal. In short, it's unwatchable.

No film before has been so faithful in its rendering of a graphic novel to the screen and no film in recent memory, with the notable exception of the Passion of the Christ has been so gratuitously unrelenting in its portrayal of violence. Sin City's numerous beatings, perverse mutilations, and cannibalism create a spectacle that will be tolerated by only the most violence inured of audiences. Upon leaving the theater, and for hours afterward, I was speechless.

The release of Sin City is not without a moral lesson, however. It perfectly illustrates what's missing in the Motion Picture Association's rating of films. The ubiquitous trailer, the internet ads, a theater full of young teens, and the associations simple rating of "R" did not prepare me to see a film so disturbingly violent. If the MPAA had really been trying to help me, parents and teenagers make informed choices about movies, then this film would have been rated NC-17 for violence. Better yet, the MPAA would recognize that it is failing in its duty to inform and would adopt a rating system that clearly enumerates the potentially objectionable elements in a film before I go to the theater. If there are thematic elements I don't want to see in movies I watch, shouldn't I be allowed to know and decide before I go to the theater?

The MPAA failing aside, Sin City is beautiful but sickening, clever but soul crushing. The movie is a ravishing study in vile and potential moviegoers are strongly cautioned to consider the intensity of the film's portrayal of violence before deciding to attend.



At 3:38 AM, Tishuk said...

Yeah, it was definitely ultra-violent. However, I've also seen worse. A lot of the more bloody scenes were shot and/or edited to look more like a comic book drawings than an actual gore. Most, if not all, of the blood was colored white, some of the more potentially disturbing shots were done in silhouette and other times they totally shifted focus from the violence itself. For instance, the scene where the Hookers of Old Town were mowing down the crooked cops and mobsters, they focused a lot more on the faces of the ones doing the shooting than the people getting blown to bits. I mean seriously, "Saving Private Ryan" was, in my opinion, more graphic. Okay, so they didn't have a hand-crafted castration, but it probably had more people killed and probably caused more post traumatic stress flashbacks.

The scene in which the "Yellow Bastard" gets liquified by Bruce Willis, was no worse than the scene in "The Patriot" when Mel Gibson does essentially the same thing to a British soldier. At least the "Yellow Bastard" was a demon that no one was going to miss. The British soldier was probably some fresh faced limey who was just following orders and waiting until his tour was over.

I'm kinda scared to see the "Sin City" director's cut, it seemed to me that they probably left out some really heinous stuff--namely when Marv tortures his victims. And I can only imagine what was left out of that whole cannibal thing. Weird.

Also, good comparison to "The Passion." I thought that was many times more graphic and also many times less entertaining.


Post a Comment

<< Home