As a film that brings a new look to the screen that integrates computer effects so well into its substance and feel, Sin City is worth watching.

But as a film that brings beauty and style to violence ala beat takeshi, john woo, akira kurozawa, sergio leone, coppola and tarantino, it has very little that is original or interesting. Rather it hammers away, upping the ante with more graphic gore, more special effects blood and less substance as the film continues.

Sadly, it doesnt make it as a noir film either even though it has the required cast of hard men and femme fatales and the rain drenched perpetual night-time backdrop. But it’s all window dressing. Overburdened with uninspired dialogue, endless voiceovers, the Sin City characters do not live. In every scene, they are pinned to a single interpretation. Noir lives in the ambiguity of silence and morality and in spite of the numerous killings and tortures, there is no ambiquity in this film. Or humour or any sense of irony and self-awareness. Purely on the plot and dialogue level, it is like listening to a semi-literate redneck describe a pitbull fight down to the last drop of blood.

Does anyone remember Dick Tracy, that 1990 movie starring Warren Beatty and Madonna? Reviewers marvelled at its dayglo look and its grotesque cast. I doubt many can remember much more about it now or that it sits in many people’s must view again list. Sin City will likely go the same way.

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