Sin City (2005)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Welcome to Sin City. This town beckons to the tough, the corrupt, the brokenhearted. Some call it dark… Hard-boiled. Then there are those who call it home — Crooked cops, sexy dames, desperate vigilantes. Some are seeking revenge, others lust after redemption, and then there are those hoping for a little of both. A universe of unlikely and reluctant heroes still trying to do the right thing in a city that refuses to care.

‘Sin City’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Sin City (2005)2005’s Sin City, based on graphic novels by Frank Miller, is an extraordinary crime anthology that immerses it’s viewers with flamboyant style, high octane story lines, and a mob of amazing characters, who range from grotesque to heroic.

The film opens by introducing us to “The Salesman, “chillingly portrayed by Josh Harnett. “The Salesman” meets a gorgeous woman on the balcony of a penthouse, offers her a cigarette, then the two share a passionate kiss. “The Salesman” assassinates the woman by shooting her and lets her pass on in his arms. The assassin tells the woman that she doesn’t need to be on the run any longer, but he will cash her check the next morning.

The next story features police officer John Hartigan, who is set to retire from the police force. Late one evening, Hartigan, brought to life by Bruce Willis, tracks down pedophile/rapist/killer, Roark Junior (Nick Stahl), who is attempting to rape and kill an eleven year old girl, Nancy Callahan, in a warehouse. Hartigan’s surprise arrest is thwarted by a mild heart attack, allowing Junior the opportunity to shoot the righteous cop. Hartigan is able to recover and chase down the pedophile. Roark loses his ear, hand, and genitals to Hartigan gun shots, but Roark’s life is spared when Hartigan’s corrupt partner, Bob, shoots Hartigan in the back. Hartigan has sacrificed himself to save Nancy’s life.

From there, an elephant man looking ex-con, Marv, brilliantly portrayed by Mickey Rourke, gets lucky one night with a gorgeous blonde, known only as Goldie (Jamie King). Marv wakes up to find Goldie mysteriously deceased, in the bed next to him, and the police breaking down the door to his flop house. Marv escapes before the police can arrest him and finds refuge with his bodacious, lesbian parole officer, Lucille (Carla Gugino). Marv begins to investigate Goldie’s death, in an attempt to clear his own name, by interrogating Sin City’s scummiest informants. Marv makes his way to the Roark family farm to get revenge for setting up Goldie’s death, but is captured a mysterious cannibal named Kevin (Elijah Wood) and placed into a cell with Lucille, who has had her hand removed from her body.

The duo is able to escape, but Lucille is executed by a group of corrupt cops. Marv is able to kill off the police squad, but learns Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark (Rutger Hauer), along with his protégé, Kevin, had Goldie murdered. Goldie’s twin sister, Wendy, accompanies Marv back to the Rourk farm, where the super strong ex-con rips off Kevin’s arms and legs, allowing his pet wolf to eat away at the remains. Marv then makes his move on Cardinal Roark, who confesses to killing prostitutes, like Goldie, along with Kevin, to consume their souls. The Cardinal is ultimately plucked apart by Marv, who is abruptly captured and arrested. Instead of having his mother murdered because of his existence, Marv pleads guilty to murdering Cardinal Roark, Kevin the cannibal, and all of the prostitutes they murdered. Marv is electrocuted for all of his “crimes,” but not before being rewarded by Wendy, who thanked Marv for avenging Goldie’s death.

Next, Shellie (Brittany Murphy), a Sin City waitress, finds herself being taken advantage of by her ex-boyfriend, Detective Jack Rafferty (Benicio del Toro). Shellie’s current boyfriend, Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen), steps in to threaten away “Jackie Boy.” Knowing that “Jackie Boy” and his crew were up to no good, Dwight follows them to Old Town, Sin City’s prostitute controlled red light districted. After “Jackie Boy” threatens Becky (Alexis Bledel), one of Old Town’s younger prostitutes, Gail (Rosario Dawson), Old Town’s lead prostitute, enters the scene with a bevy of prostitutes. Miho (Devon Aoki), the martial arts expert in the group, assassinated “Jackie Boy” and his horde, turning Jack into a human Pez dispenser. While examining the body, Dwight learns who and what “Jackie Boy” is: a “hero cop.”

To protect the Old Town rules and prostitutes who lived by/enforced these rules, Dwight drove all of the dead bodies to the nearby tar pits, in an attempt to bury the evidence. Upon Dwight’s arrival, four mob hired mercenaries attempt to kill Dwight and take all of the evidence, but Miho is there to save the day, again. When Dwight and Miho return to Old Town, they learn that Becky, fearing for her mother’s life and the elimination of the current Old Town way of life, sold out Gail to Manute (Michael Clarke Duncan), a mob enforcer. Manute took Gail as a prisoner as a power move and now Dwight must try to save his part time lover. Dwight agrees to exchange “Jackie Boy’s” severed head for Gail’s life. However, Dwight filled the former Cop’s head with a grenade, which blew away Manute and members of his crew. The Old Town prostitutes gunned down the rest of the crew, restoring the Old Town way of life. Luckily for young Becky, she was allowed to escape during the climactic shootout.

Remember, Officer John Hartigan? Well, Hartigan wakes up in a hospital bed to the sight of Senator Roark, who is Junior Roark’s father. The Senator informs Hartigan that Junior is now a “dickless freak” and the Roark legacy is in jeopardy. Hartigan is told that he will be framed for Junior’s crimes. Nancy’s truth won’t be believed and Hartigan rot in jail for years, with only Nancy’s secret letters to keep him going. In present day Sin City, i.e. eight years later, Nancy’s letters cease making their way to Hartigan and he is worried that she has been killed. After a mysterious yellow man leaves an index figure in Hartigan’s cell, Hartigan tells the authorities everything they want to hear and is released from jail with a tarnished reputation.

Hartigan goes looking for Nancy, but erroneously leads the mysterious “Yellow Bastard” directly to her. Now a hot as hell 19 year old exotic dancer, Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) is reintroduced to the man she loves, the man who saved her life, John Hartigan. Unfortunately, their reunion is short lived as “The Yellow Bastard” kidnaps Nancy and tries to finish what he started as Roark Junior. Hartigan tracks “The Yellow Bastard” and Nancy to the Roark Farm, where Hartigan stabs “The Yellow Bastard” and beats the Senator’s offspring to death. With the Yellow menace gone, Hartigan knows that he must do whatever it takes to protect Nancy’s life forever. Hartigan draws his gun, killing himself, confirming his undying love for Nancy Callahan.

Remember, Becky, the turncoat Old Town Prostitute? Well, Becky stepped onto a hospital elevator and is greeted by The Salesman, who is dressed as a doctor. The Salesman offers Becky a cigarette and Becky knows she’s a goner as the elevator doors close.


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Miramax Films released Sin City on April 1, 2005. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez directed the film starring Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, and Bruce Willis.

User Rating: 4.91 ( 4 votes)
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