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Some Pop Culture Thoughts: Is There Redemption for “Sin City”?

15th April 2005

I went to see the film “Sin City” with a friend this week. The film moved at a brisk pace and was visually stunning. While I was expecting a film noir, it was a lot darker than I expected. The movie was loosely based on the graphic novels of Frank Miller, which are set in the fictional town of [Ba]sin City. There are a number of storylines in the film. [Spoiler Alert]

One storyline follows a really, really, bad guy named Marv (played impressively by Mickey Rourke) who trawls the darkest areas of town searching for the person who killed his “one true love,” Goldie. While perhaps his cause is noble (even though he only “knew” her for one evening!), his means of vengeance is anything but. The main storyline revolves around Bruce Willis’s character, Detective Hartigan. The film opens with Hartigan saving a young girl from a violent pedophile, who he injures in the process. While I don’t want to give away the movie, Hartigan is set up, but doesn’t say anything to protect the young girl and consequently goes to prison. Near the end of the movie the Hartigan character is released and ends up giving his own life to save the girl once again (now a young woman played by Jessica Alba). While much of the film is violence for the sake of violence, the idea of sacrificing oneself to save another obviously brings us images of Christ. I don’t know if I would go as far to say that Hartigan is a Christ figure in “Sin City” — especially since it is not even clear if he is successful. Moreover, the film totally buys into what Stone calls the “myth of redemptive violence,” which is in direct contrast to the way of Jesus. Not sure I would recommend the film; it is certainly not for the faint of heart. Also, Lord of the Ring fans beware: You will never look upon sweet little Frodo the same!

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