This is without doubt the dirtiest, sleaziest, ugliest, grimiest, slimiest movie I have ever seen. It makes Pulp Fiction look like Mary Poppins. To watch this movie is to flush yourself down a commode and spend two and a half hours wallowing in a sewer. Indeed, the next evening, I had to watch two wholesome, uplifting movies (Cinderella and The Last Samurai) to get the sludge of this one out of my system.
When comic book writer/artist Frank Miller called his fictional world Sin City, well, he wasn’t kidding. It borrows a great deal from the pulp detective novels and noir films of the 1940′s and 50′s. There are plenty of hard boiled, gun toting tough guys, corrupt cops and politicians, femme fatales, and much more. This town is so sleazy that about the closest thing there is to virtue are the prostitutes, who have banded together in a cartel of sorts, so they can control their own destiny without having their lives run by pimps or organized crime figures. You know this movie is tough and gritty when one of the characters, played by Mickey Rourke, blows away a priest shortly after appearing for confession.
Should you watch this movie? That depends in part on how strong your stomach is. The film is original, stylish, and well done. It certainly isn’t like most other movies you will see. And while, as mentioned, it is clearly an homage to the aforementioned pulp novels and noir films of the past, Miller and primary director Robert Rodriguez throw in lots of material that is far more sordid and disgusting than anything those guys half a century ago ever thought of. I won’t spoil the movie by describing any specifics, but will only say that, if you thought Silence of the Lambs wasn’t bloody enough and if the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of your favorite films, you will probably love this movie.