Sin City-At Least He Didn’t Let His Kid Write the Script
Sin City is a film that has a lot of fans. Robert Rodriguez is a director that has a lot of fans. But let’s face it “Troublemaker Studios” doesn’t really make, well, “trouble” as their films are about as commercial and safe as they come. Maybe a different name is in order, because Troublemaker doesn’t fit.
I wish I could only say great things about Sin City. Unfortunately, I truly dislike this film, which cuts against the grain I am sure. Yes, the film is visually brilliant, yes it is visually unique, yes you will remember some of the gruesome gory images for years to come, but so what? I don’t expect much out of Rodriguez after the masterpiece The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, which, now get this, his 8 year old son Racer co-wrote. Yeah, that’s right, what the hell. Flip it around, if you’re a computer programmer and you develop a computer program with your kid, your kid better be the freaking Amadeus of computer programming. Whose money is being used/played with here? If I had been asked to invest in a film that was written by an 8 year old I would have thought all involved had lost their minds. I mean that seriously. This goes too far and what is interesting is Rodriguez pretty much got by with it without even so much as a “bad boy” from his peers. People in the entertainment industry are beating the crap out of Tom Cruise for infinitely less than this. Can you imagine James Cameron or Steven Spielberg pulling this kind of stunt, no, too much self respect I would suppose. Why is Rodriguez getting off without a scratch on this one?
In all fairness, as you may have already concluded, I don’t think much of this director. All those goofy El Mariachi movies (Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Desperato) pretty much suck. Those “fun” little Spy Kids movies, while again technically innovative, aren’t much better, but Sin City makes me long for the bad costuming and makeup of those masterpieces. Somehow, they let him continue to make movies. He edits them himself, he often does the score, he shoots them and guess what, it shows.
Now, with Sin City the technical quality is much better than his normal fair, I will give him that. There are some great shots and exceptional visuals. Rodriguez tried far harder than normal and I appreciate that, I seriously do. There is nothing original in the story and you simply can’t slide by on visual innovation alone and expect to be respected. The film was financially successful and there will be sequels, but at roughly a $150-$170 million worldwide it wasn’t wildly successful. The $30-$40 million dollar budget, did however, make it very profitable and at the end of the day that is all the MBA’s that run Hollywood care about, as this film clearly indicates. They would nail a frog to a piece of wood and show it squirm for two hours if it made money. I know, “hey smarty-pants can you do any better?”
Well, I don’t know, but with $30-$40 million dollars most people could at least produce a film that was less offensive. Further, I doubt that most people would even think of giving their 8 year old a professional writing credit on a major Hollywood release. Even by Hollywood standards this would seem a bit excessive. They might hand the kid a part he didn’t have to work for, but writing credit? Wow. I mean is this kid in WGA? Hadn’t thought of that, had you? Uncool. It’s a bit difficult to respect a guy that is pulling stunts like that. Truthfully, I don’t have much else to say about this film.
Story D (Frank Miller is not a genius, nor obviously is Rodriguez).
Acting C+ (Lots of stars and so what.)
Originality/Innovation D-/A- (D- in terms of story as Sin City is saturated with major rehashing, and major borrowing. On the technical side, Sin City deserves an A- as the film most certainly breaks new ground and does a fantastic job at incorporating new technology.)
Enjoyability Grade D/C (Unless you really like pointless, senseless gore, then a C, I guess. Otherwise, Ernest Goes to Camp may be a better pick).
Home Theater/HD Factor A (Sin City originated in high-definition, and if you watch it in HD you may become a little sick, unless your into this kind of thing, in which case, you probably are already a little sick.)
Overall Grade C- (The technical innovation brings up the overall grade. I can’t deny that Sin City has an original look that took time and effort to craft. The problem is that it is all visuals and the film has nothing to say. But, in summation, at least Rodriguez did more with the money than many other directors in today’s crippled Hollywood.)