In the mood forsome hyperviolent film noir? How about a movie in which the director Robert Rodriguez, so soon after directing the PG Spy Kid series, takes pleasure in reveling in every R-rated detail he includes?
I would like to say at the outset that I admire Rodriquez’s uncompromising stance towards his material. I heard that when he couldn’t get union approval for Frank Miller’s co-direction of the film, he dropped out of the union and carried on. Instead of just alluding to Quentin Tarantino’s work, he brought in Quentin himself to direct one of the better scenes involving a talking corpse. Rodriguez doesn’t care one bit for political correctness, being a bad influence on our nation’s youth, or mothers who get angered by their daughters dressing up like Britney Spears. His vision of politics is of complete corruption and massive lies that extends from the church pulpit to the police force. Yet, the movie has a kind of nerdy chivalric code by which Mickey Rourke’s character Marv cheerfully tortures and kills various cops and criminals in the name of avenging the death of one idealized blonde prostitute named Goldie (played by Jaime King). Bruce Willis plays Hartigan, a cop who, in the name of saving 9 year old Nancy Callahan from a pervert, punches out his partner, fights off the advances of a 19 year old stripper played by Jessica Alba, and graphically pulls off the genitalia of a man. He also finds a way to swing back and forth while being hanged in a hotel room so he can catch a sliver a glass between his feet to cut himself loose. The third plot involves Clive Owen playing Dwight, a tough guy in red Converse sneakers, who gets dunked in a tar pit when trying to dispose of the dismembered body of Benicio Del Toro.
If you don’t mind limited characterization, the sick-violent sensibility of video games, and Mickey Rourke’s creepy plastic surgery, there are pleasures to be found in