Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sin Effin' City

Kevin, Jenny and I saw Sin City Friday night. Fantastic. The single best adaptation of comic to film, ever. It seems to be getting mixed reviews, however. Those, like me who've read the graphic novels love it. Those who aren't familiar with the source material however, seem to come out shocked and disturbed by the violence. I find this odd, since the title of the movie is Sin City. Not Pleasent Burg or Village of the Kittens. It ain't Naughty Town, people. They aren't fibbing to grandma and stealing pies off of window sills. These are prostitutes, killers and crooked cops. They kill, kill, kill people. Sometimes they torture them first. The film, like the comics, is Noir with a capitol N. I don't remember seeing any puppies and dreamy, romantic kisses in the trailer, just guns and thugs. You were warned.

Prior to going to the theater, we ran into someone else who was disturbed by the film. She called it misogynistic. She must have had her eyes closed during the Big Fat Kill sequence, when the prostitutes stand up for themselves and do what they must to ensure that they stay free of mob influence, free of abusive pimps and free of the cops. There are more independent, strong female characters in Sin City than in a half dozen Hollywood movies put together, but for some reason, this person couldn't get past the surface of the prostitutes and thugs to really get the story. It's all about loyalty to one's friends, standing up for yourself in the face of certain doom and doing what you think is right, even if it's confused and uncertain. Marv's actions are brutal, but noble. They are a scream of defiance at an unjust world. Sure, Dwight's a killer and Miho'd sooner slice your balls off than say hello. But when they're fighting against cannibals, pedophiles and serial killers, you root for them anyway. Because they may not be pretty but they're still better than the real bad guys, the crooked cops, flesh-eating priests and sick, twisted psycho offspring of senators. Complaining that Sin City is too violent is like saying Sense and Sensibility is too Victorian. That's just the setting, folks. Sometimes the heros don't wear white hats and aren't rich and nice. I know this flies in the face of American Mythology, where the rich, well dressed people are good and the dirty drunks and whores are bad. But this is Sin City. Things are different here.

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