Written by Robert Rodriguez, based on the series of graphics novels by Frank Miller
Directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino
Starring Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
Released by: Dimension.
My Advice: Wait for the uber-version.
[ad#longpost]Basin City is not what you would call a prime vacation spot. And I’m not saying that because, you know, everything’s in black and white with splashes of color, and people bleed white. It’s because you’ve got denizens there like Marv (Rourke), a modern-day gladiator out to seek revenge for a dead woman who showed him kindness one night. There’s also Dwight (Owen), a wanted felon with a new face who’s trying to stop a bunch of psychos from tearing up Old Town. And there is a good cop, but he’s Hartigan (Willis), and he’s got troubles of his own–lots of them. So yeah, might want to stay away, unless you’re heavily armed.
We’ve wanted for a long time to see what would happen if somebody made a faithful adaptation of a comic book. It just doesn’t happen. Good comic book-based movies at all are hard to find, and most feel like they have change things because whatever the content is obviously “won’t work” with “regular” audiences. So God bless Rodriguez for understanding that this is all horseshit, and you can not only be faithful to the source material, you can flat out “do” the source material. These characters are larger than life. They’re noir on crack. They wouldn’t work against a background of a normal cityscape. They were created and must exist within Miller‘s (mostly) monochromatic world. So Rodriguez simply brought that world to life. With startling results.
It’s startling not just in how true to the comic it looks, but how it feels. Everything is just bang-on. The actors are all their characters. Nobody hams it up too much and takes you out of the story–they all just work. Incredibly. Granted, some stand out just because of how the setup is. The three “leads”, Willis, Rourke and Owen, have plenty of chances to shine. Rourke is the top of the top, though. If you’ve read the graphic novels, then you will probably be as freaked out as I was: Rourke was Marv. And I’m not being goofy when I say that he’s Marv in the same was that Jamie Foxx was Ray Charles. You forget you’re watching an actor.
The movie is kickass, violent and unflinching. The DVD is the no frills one that is a prelude to a (hopefully) worthy set to come. We know that there are scads of behind-the-scenes stuff to be had, but nobody is pretending that this is anything but a disc to get it in the hands of the rabid. So we can’t fault them. There is a small featurette, which is quite tiny, and just a brief overview of how the project got started, how Rodriguez stalked Miller and got him on board, and doesn’t go much further than that.
If you haven’t seen the film, give this a rental. Be warned that it’s violent as six hells, though. But it’s a freaking blast. But as far as owning? Wait for the special edition.